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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 2, 2021

Registration Statement No. 333-        

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-3

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

CHIMERA INVESTMENT CORPORATION

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

 

Maryland   26-0630461
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  (I.R.S Employer
Identification No.)

630 Fifth Ave, Ste 2400

New York, New York 10111 (212) 626-2300

(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)

 

 

Mohit Marria

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Chimera Investment Corporation

630 Fifth Ave, Ste 2400

New York, New York 10111

(212) 626-2300

(Name, Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, including Area Code, of Agent for Service)

 

 

Copies to:

 

Phillip J. Kardis, II, Esq.

Chief Legal Officer

Chimera Investment Corporation

630 Fifth Ave, Ste 2400
New York, New York 10111
(212) 626-2300

 

Robert K. Smith, Esq.

James V. Davidson, Esq.

Kathryn E. Saltz, Esq.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20037

(202) 955-1611

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: From time to time or at one time after the effective date of the Registration Statement as the Registrant shall determine.

If the only securities being registered on this form are being offered pursuant to dividend or interest reinvestment plans, please check the following box.  ☒

If any of the securities being registered on this form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, other than securities offered only in connection with dividend or interest reinvestment plans, check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a registration statement pursuant to General Instruction I.D. or a post-effective amendment thereto that shall become effective upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Rule 462(e) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment to a registration statement filed pursuant to General Instruction I.D. filed to register additional securities or additional classes of securities pursuant to Rule 413(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer        Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer        Smaller reporting company  
       Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of Securities Act.  ☐

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Each Class of
Securities to be Registered
  Amount
to be
Registered (1)
  Proposed
Maximum
Aggregate Price
Per Share
  Proposed
Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price
  Amount of
Registration Fee (2)

Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share

  1,000,000   (2)   (2)   $0

 

 

(1)

Plus such additional shares as may be issued by reason of stock splits, stock dividends or similar transactions.

(2)

Pursuant to Rule 415(a)(6) under the Securities Act, this Registration Statement only includes unsold securities that have been previously registered. Accordingly, there is no registration fee due in connection with this Registration Statement. Pursuant to Rule 415(a)(6) under the Securities Act, the securities registered pursuant to this Registration Statement consist of 1,000,000 unsold shares of common stock previously registered on the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form S-3 (Registration No. 333-229257), which we refer to as the Prior Registration Statement. In connection with the original registration of such unsold shares of common stock on the Prior Registration Statement, the Registrant paid a registration fee of $29,731.68, which will continue to be applied to such unsold securities. Pursuant to Rule 415(a)(6), the offering of the unsold securities registered under the Prior Registration Statement will be deemed terminated as of the date of effectiveness of this Registration Statement.

 

 

 


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PROSPECTUS

 

LOGO

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

1,000,000 Shares of Common Stock

 

 

The Dividend Reinvestment Plan, or the Plan, is designed to provide current holders of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share, with a convenient and economical method to reinvest dividends in shares of our common stock.

By participating in the Plan, you may purchase additional shares of our common stock by reinvesting some or all of the cash dividends that you receive on your shares of our common stock. The Plan highlights include:

 

   

Any holder of shares of our common stock may elect to participate in the Plan.

 

   

Full or partial dividend reinvestment options.

 

   

Shares purchased will be maintained in your name in book-entry form at no charge to you.

 

   

Detailed recordkeeping and reporting will be provided at no charge to you.

 

   

Optional automatic investment withdrawals from your bank account.

We have appointed Computershare Trust Company, N.A. to serve as the Administrator of the Plan.

The New York Stock Exchange lists our common stock under the symbol “CIM.” The last reported closing sale price of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange on December 1, 2021 was $15.62 per share.

This prospectus relates to the offer and sale of up to 1,000,000 authorized but unissued shares of our common stock under the Plan. Participants should retain this prospectus for future reference.

 

 

Investing in these securities involves risks. You should carefully consider the information referred to under the heading “Risk Factors” beginning on page 3 of this prospectus.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The date of this prospectus is December 2, 2021


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     ii  

ABOUT CHIMERA INVESTMENT CORPORATION

     1  

DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

     2  

RISK FACTORS

     3  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     4  

DESCRIPTION OF THE PLAN

     5  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

     17  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     45  

EXPERTS

     46  

LEGAL MATTERS

     46  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     47  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

     48  

You should rely only on the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this prospectus. We have not authorized any other person to provide you with different information. If anyone provides you with different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date such information is presented. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since such dates.

 

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A WARNING ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements contained in this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and any other offering material, and the information incorporated by reference into this prospectus, any prospectus supplement and/or any other offering material, and certain statements contained in our future filings with the SEC, in our press releases or in our other public or stockholder communications may not be based on historical facts and are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (or the Securities Act), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (or the Exchange Act). Forward-looking statements, which are based on various assumptions (some of which are beyond our control), may be identified by reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “will,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “should,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan,” “would” or similar terms, variations on those terms or the negative of those terms. Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in forward looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

   

our business and investment strategy;

 

   

our ability to accurately forecast the payment of future dividends on our common and preferred stock, and the amount of such dividends;

 

   

our ability to determine accurately the fair market value of our assets;

 

   

availability of investment opportunities in real estate-related and other securities, including our valuation of potential opportunities that may arise as a result of current and future market dislocations;

 

   

effect of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic on real estate market, financial markets and our Company, including the impact on the value, availability, financing and liquidity of mortgage assets;

 

   

how COVID-19 may affect us, our operations and our personnel;

 

   

our expected investments;

 

   

changes in the value of our investments, including negative changes resulting in margin calls related to the financing of our assets;

 

   

changes in interest rates and mortgage prepayment rates;

 

   

prepayments of the mortgage and other loans underlying our mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS, or other asset-backed securities, or ABS;

 

   

rates of default, delinquencies, forbearance, deferred payments or decreased recovery rates on our investments;

 

   

general volatility of the securities markets in which we invest;

 

   

our ability to maintain existing financing arrangements and our ability to obtain future financing arrangements;

 

   

our ability to effect our strategy to securitize residential mortgage loans;

 

   

interest rate mismatches between our investments and our borrowings used to finance such purchases;

 

   

effects of interest rate caps on our adjustable-rate investments;

 

   

the degree to which our hedging strategies may or may not protect us from interest rate volatility;

 

   

the impact of and changes to various government programs, including in response to COVID-19;

 

   

impact of and changes in governmental regulations, tax law and rates, accounting guidance, and similar matters;

 

   

market trends in our industry, interest rates, the debt securities markets or the general economy;

 

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estimates relating to our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future;

 

   

our understanding of our competition;

 

   

our ability to find and retain qualified personnel;

 

   

our ability to maintain our classification as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

 

   

our ability to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or 1940 Act;

 

   

our expectations regarding materiality or significance; and

 

   

the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures.

These forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information currently available to us. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. Some of these factors are described under the caption “About Chimera Investment Corporation” in this prospectus and under the caption “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which are incorporated by reference into the prospectus. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations and prospects may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and it is impossible for us to predict those events or how they may affect us. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to, and do not intend to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

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ABOUT CHIMERA INVESTMENT CORPORATION

General

We are a publicly traded REIT that is primarily engaged in the business of investing directly or having a beneficial interest in a diversified portfolio of mortgage assets, including residential mortgage loans, Agency RMBS, Non-Agency RMBS, Agency CMBS, and other real estate-related assets. We use leverage to increase returns while managing the difference or spread between longer duration assets and shorter duration financing. Our principal business objective is to deliver shareholder value through the generation of distributable income and through asset performance linked to residential mortgage credit fundamentals. We selectively invest in residential mortgage assets with a focus on credit analysis, projected prepayment rates, interest rate sensitivity and expected return.

We currently focus our investment activities primarily on acquiring residential mortgage loans, Non-Agency RMBS and Agency mortgage-backed securities, or MBS. At September 30, 2021, based on the fair value of our interest earning assets, approximately 81% of our investment portfolio was residential mortgage loans, 12% of our investment portfolio was Non-Agency RMBS, and 7% of our investment portfolio was Agency MBS. At December 31, 2020, based on the fair value of our interest earning assets, approximately 77% of our investment portfolio was residential mortgage loans, 13% of our investment portfolio was Non-Agency RMBS, and 10% of our investment portfolio was Agency MBS.

We use leverage to increase returns and to finance the acquisition of our assets. We expect to finance our investments using a variety of financing sources including, when available, securitizations, warehouse facilities, repurchase agreements, structured asset financing and offerings of our securities. We may manage our debt and interest rate risk by utilizing interest rate hedges, such as interest rate swaps, caps, options, swaptions and futures to reduce the effect of interest rate fluctuations related to our financing sources. As of September 30, 2021, we did not own any interest rate hedges.

Our investment strategy is intended to take advantage of opportunities in the current interest rate and credit environment. We expect to adjust our strategy to changing market conditions by shifting our asset allocations across these various asset classes as interest rate and credit cycles change over time. We expect to take a long-term view of assets and liabilities.

To assist us in qualifying as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, no person may own more than 9.8%, in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our common stock, excluding any shares of common stock not treated as outstanding for United States federal income tax purposes, unless our Board of Directors waives this limitation.

Stock Listing

The New York Stock Exchange lists our common stock under the symbol “CIM”.

Principal Executive Offices and Telephone Number

Our principal executive offices are located at 630 Fifth Ave, Ste 2400, New York, New York 10111. Our telephone number is (212) 626-2300.

Internet Address

Our internet address is www.chimerareit.com. The contents of our internet website are not a part of, and are not incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement.

 

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DIVIDEND REINVESTMENT PLAN

The Plan provides holders of record of our common stock an opportunity to automatically reinvest all or a portion of their cash distributions received on common stock in additional shares of our common stock. The Administrator will buy, at our option, newly issued common stock directly from us or common stock in the open market or in negotiated transactions with third parties. Please see “Description of the Plan” beginning on page 6 of this prospectus.

The Plan will be administered by the Administrator, which will be Computershare Trust Company, N.A., or any successor bank or trust company that we may from time to time designate. Certain of the administrative support to the Administrator may be performed by its designated affiliates.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves risks. You should carefully consider the following risk factor and the risks described under “Risk Factors” in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q (which descriptions are incorporated by reference herein), as well as the other information contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement hereto before making a decision to invest in our securities. See “Where You Can Find More Information” below.

Risks Related to the Plan

You will not know the price of the common stock you are purchasing under the Plan at the time you elect to have your dividends reinvested, and you may not be able to direct the time or price at which the common stock you hold is sold under the Plan.

The price of our common stock may fluctuate between the time you decide to purchase common stock under the Plan and the time of actual purchase. In addition, during this time period, you may become aware of additional information that might affect your investment decision.

Computershare Trust Company, N.A. serves as the Administrator of the Plan. If you instruct the Administrator to sell common stock under the Plan, you will not be able to direct the time or price at which the common stock is sold. The price of our common stock may decline between the time you decide to sell common stock and the time of actual sale.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We will receive proceeds from the sale of common stock that the Administrator purchases directly from us. We will not receive proceeds from the sale of common stock that the Administrator purchases in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. We cannot estimate anticipated proceeds from sales of our common stock pursuant to the Plan, which will depend upon the market price of our common stock, the extent of stockholder participation in the Plan and other factors.

Unless otherwise indicated in an accompanying prospectus supplement, we intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the securities offered by this prospectus and the related accompanying prospectus supplement to finance the acquisition of mortgage assets including residential mortgage loans, non-Agency RMBS, Agency RMBS, Agency and non-Agency CMBS and other targeted assets, and for other general corporate purposes such as repayment of outstanding indebtedness or to pay down other liabilities, working capital, and for liquidity needs. Pending any such uses, we may invest the net proceeds from the sale of any securities in interest-bearing short-term investments, including money market accounts that are consistent with our intention to maintain our qualification as a REIT, or we may use them to reduce short-term indebtedness.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF THE PLAN

The following questions and answers explain and constitute our Dividend Reinvestment Plan, or the Plan. If you decide not to participate in the Plan, you will receive cash dividends, as declared and paid in the usual manner.

The Plan is open to our existing stockholders and investors who become stockholders of the Company in the future.

Existing stockholders are either “record owners” or “beneficial owners.” You are a record owner if you own common stock in your own name. You are a beneficial owner if you own common stock that is registered in a name other than your own name (for example, the common stock is held in the name of a broker, bank or other nominee). A record owner may participate directly in the Plan. If you are a beneficial owner, however, you will either have to become a record owner by having one or more shares of our common stock transferred into your name or coordinate your participation through the broker, bank or other nominee in whose name your shares are held.

Purpose

 

1.

What is the purpose of the Plan?

The primary purpose of the Plan is to provide stockholders with an economical and convenient way to increase their investment in the Company. Please read Question 14 with respect to the purchase price for common stock purchased under the Plan.

The Plan is primarily intended for the benefit of long-term investors, and not for the benefit of individuals or institutions who engage in short-term trading activities that could cause aberrations in the overall trading volume of our common stock. We reserve the right to modify, suspend or terminate participation in the Plan by otherwise eligible holders of common stock in order to eliminate practices which are not consistent with the purposes of the Plan.

Options Available to Participants

Information on how to participate in the Plan is set forth in Questions 5 through 13.

 

2.

What are my investment options under the Plan?

Stockholders may elect to have all, a portion or none of their cash dividends paid on their common stock automatically reinvested in common stock through the Plan. Cash dividends are paid on common stock when and as declared by our Board of Directors, generally on a quarterly basis. Subject to the availability of common stock registered for issuance under the Plan, there is no limitation on the amount of dividends you may reinvest under the Plan.

 

3.

How can I change my investment options?

You may change your investment options at any time by requesting a new enrollment form and returning it to the Administrator at the address set forth in Question 7 or via the Internet at www.computershare.com/investor. Any enrollment form that is returned to the Administrator to change your investment options will be effective in accordance with the schedule described in Question 11.

Advantages and Disadvantages

 

4.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Plan?

Before deciding whether to participate in the Plan, you should consider the following advantages and disadvantages of the Plan.

 

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Advantages

 

   

The Plan provides you with the opportunity to reinvest all or a portion of the cash dividends paid on common stock that you hold toward the purchase of additional common stock.

 

   

Since the Administrator will credit fractional common stock to your Plan account, you will receive full investment of your dividends. (Please read Questions 15 and 20.)

 

   

You will have the option of having your stock certificates held for safekeeping by the Administrator, insuring your protection against loss, theft or destruction of the certificates representing your common stock.

 

   

You will simplify your record keeping by receiving periodic statements that will reflect all current activity in your Plan account, including dividend reinvestments, sales and latest balances. (Please read Question 19.)

 

   

At any time, you may direct the plan administrator to sell or transfer all or a portion of the common stock held in your Plan account. Sales of common stock credited to your Plan account may be sold as often as you instruct, including daily. (Please read Question 23.)

Disadvantages

 

   

No interest will be paid by us or the Administrator on dividends held pending reinvestment or investment.

 

   

You may not know the actual number of shares of common stock that you have acquired through the Plan until after the Investment Date.

 

   

Your participation in the Plan generally will result in your being treated, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as having received a distribution equal to the fair market value of the common stock on the dividend payment date. The fair market value of the common stock on the dividend payment date may be higher or lower than the Market Price (as defined below) or the “average price per share,” as applicable, used to determine the number of shares of common stock acquired pursuant to the Plan. The distribution will be includable in your income as a taxable dividend to the extent of our earnings and profits for U.S. federal income tax purposes even though no cash will have been received to pay any tax that becomes due. (Please read “Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations.”)

 

   

Sales of common stock credited to your plan account will involve a fee per transaction to be deducted from the proceeds of the sale by the Administrator (if you request the Administrator to make such sale), plus any processing fees and any applicable stock transfer taxes on the sales. (Please read Question 23.)

 

   

Because the purchase price for stock purchased directly from us under the Plan is based on the sales price over the five (5) trading days prior to the Investment Date, it is possible that the actual price you pay for common stock acquired under the plan may be higher than the amount for which the common stock could have been purchased in the open market on the Investment Date.

 

   

You cannot pledge common stock deposited in your Plan account until the shares are withdrawn from the Plan.

Administration and Plan Administrator

 

5.

Who administers the plan?

We have appointed Computershare Trust Company, N.A. to be the Administrator of the Plan.

 

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6.

What are the responsibilities of the Administrator?

The Administrator’s responsibilities include:

 

   

administration of the Plan;

 

   

acting as your agent;

 

   

keeping records of all Plan accounts;

 

   

sending statements of activity to each participant;

 

   

purchasing and selling, on your behalf, all common stock under the Plan; and

 

   

the performance of other duties relating to the Plan.

Holding Shares. The Administrator will hold any shares you choose to enroll in the Plan and will register them in the Administrator’s name (or that of its nominee) as your agent.

Receipt of Dividends. As record holder for the Plan shares, the Administrator will credit the dividends accrued on your Plan shares as of the dividend record date to your Plan account on the basis of whole or fractional Plan shares held in such account and will automatically reinvest such dividends in additional common stock. Any remaining portion of cash dividends not designated for reinvestment will be sent to you.

Other Responsibilities. The Administrator also acts as dividend disbursing agent, transfer agent and registrar for our common stock. If the Administrator resigns or otherwise ceases to act as the Administrator, we will appoint a new Administrator to administer the Plan.

 

7.

How do I contact the Administrator?

You should send all correspondence and transaction requests to the Administrator at:

Computershare

P.O. Box 505000

Louisville, Kentucky 40233-5000

Please mention Chimera Investment Corporation and this Plan in all correspondence. In addition, you may call the Administrator at 1-877-239-3308 or contact the Administrator via the internet at www.computershare.com/investor.

Participation

 

8.

Who is eligible to participate?

The following persons are eligible to participate in the Plan:

Record Owners. All record owners (stockholders whose shares are held in their name on the records kept by our transfer agent) of common stock are eligible to participate directly in this Plan.

Beneficial Owners. Beneficial owners (stockholders whose shares are held in the name of a broker, bank or other nominee on the records kept by our transfer agent) of common stock may participate in two ways. A beneficial owner may participate directly by becoming a record owner by having one or more shares transferred into his or her name from that of the applicable broker, bank or other nominee. Alternatively, a beneficial owner may seek to arrange with the broker, bank or other nominee that is the record owner of his or her shares to participate on the beneficial owner’s behalf.

 

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9.

Are there limitations on participation in the Plan other than those described above?

Foreign Law Restrictions. You may not participate in the Plan if it would be unlawful for you to do so in the jurisdiction where you are a citizen or reside. If you are a citizen or resident of a country other than the United States, you should confirm that by participating in the Plan you will not violate local laws governing, among other things, taxes, currency and exchange controls, stock registration and foreign investments.

Exclusion from Plan for Short-Term Trading or Other Practices. You should not use the Plan to engage in short-term trading activities that could change the normal trading volume of the common stock. If you do engage in short-term trading activities, we may prevent you from participating in the Plan. We reserve the right to modify, suspend or terminate participation in the Plan, by otherwise eligible holders of common stock, in order to eliminate practices which we determine, in our sole discretion, are not consistent with the purposes or operation of the Plan or which may adversely affect the price of the common stock.

Restrictions at Our Discretion. In addition to the restrictions described above, we reserve the right to prevent you from participating in the Plan for any other reason. We have the sole discretion to exclude you from or terminate your participation in the Plan.

 

10.

How do I enroll in the Plan?

Record Owners. Record owners may join the Plan by completing and signing an enrollment form (please read Question 12) and returning it to the Administrator, or by following the enrollment procedures specified on the Administrator’s website at www.computershare.com/investor. Enrollment forms may be obtained at any time by written request, by contacting the Administrator at the address and telephone number provided in Question 7, or via the internet at the Administrator’s website at www.computershare.com/investor.

Beneficial Owners. A beneficial owner may request that the number of shares the beneficial owner wishes to be enrolled in the Plan be registered by the broker, bank or other nominee in the beneficial owner’s own name as record owner in order to participate directly in the Plan. Alternatively, beneficial owners who wish to join the Plan may instruct their broker, bank or other nominee to arrange participation in the plan on the beneficial owner’s behalf. The broker, bank or other nominee should then make arrangements with its securities depository, and the securities depository will provide the Administrator with the information necessary to allow the beneficial owner to participate in the Plan.

To facilitate participation by beneficial owners, we have made arrangements with the Administrator to reinvest dividends by record holders such as brokers, banks and other nominees, on behalf of beneficial owners.

Alternatively, a beneficial owner may simply request that the number of shares the beneficial owner wishes to be enrolled in the Plan be re-registered by the broker, bank or other nominee in the beneficial owner’s own name as record owner in order to participate directly in the Plan.

Non-Stockholders. A non-stockholder must first become a record owner before becoming eligible to participate in the Plan.

 

11.

When will my participation in the Plan begin?

If your enrollment form (please read Question 12) is received by the Administrator by the record date established for a particular dividend, reinvestment will commence with that dividend. If your enrollment form is received after the record date established for a particular dividend, reinvestment will begin on the dividend payment date following the next record date if you are, or your broker, bank or other nominee is, still a record owner on such record date.

Once you enroll in the Plan, you will remain enrolled in the Plan until you withdraw from the Plan, we terminate your participation in the Plan or we terminate the Plan.

 

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12.

What does the enrollment form provide?

The enrollment form appoints the Administrator as your agent and directs us to pay to the Administrator, on the applicable record date, the cash dividends on your common stock that are enrolled in the Plan, including all whole and fractional shares of common stock that are subsequently credited to your Plan account, as they are added with each reinvestment. These cash dividends with respect to shares enrolled in the Plan will be automatically reinvested by the Administrator in common stock. Any remaining cash dividends with respect to shares not enrolled in the Plan will be paid directly to you.

The enrollment form provides for the purchase of additional shares of common stock through the following investment options:

 

   

“Full Dividend Reinvestment”—This option directs the Administrator to reinvest cash dividends on all of the common stock owned by you then or in the future into additional common stock.

 

   

“Partial Dividend Reinvestment”—This option directs the Administrator to reinvest cash dividends paid on a specified number of shares of common stock owned by you into additional common stock. We will continue to pay you cash dividends on shares that you own for which you do not elect dividend reinvestment, when and if such dividends are declared by our Board of Directors.

 

   

“All Cash (No Dividend Reinvestment)”—This option directs the Administrator to pay a cash dividend on all common stock credited to your Plan account and those registered in your name. This allows you to receive all of your dividends in cash.

Unless you designate a specific amount of your shares for enrollment in the Plan, you will be enrolled as having selected the full dividend reinvestment option. In addition, if you return a properly executed enrollment form to the Administrator without electing an investment option, you will be enrolled as having selected the full dividend reinvestment option.

You may select any one of the options desired, and the designated options will remain in effect until you specify otherwise by indicating a different option on a new enrollment form, by withdrawing some or all shares from the Plan in favor of receiving cash dividends or in order to sell your common stock, or until the Plan is terminated.

 

13.

What does the plan Administrator’s website provide?

Instead of submitting an enrollment form (please read Question 12), you can participate in the Plan by accessing the Administrator’s website at www.computershare.com/investor. You may do the following online:

 

   

enroll or terminate your participation in the Plan;

 

   

sell common stock;

 

   

request a stock certificate for non-fractional common stock held in your Plan account; and

 

   

view your account history and balances.

Purchases and Prices of Common Stock

 

14.

What will be the price of common stock purchased under the Plan?

Purchase Price. The purchase price of common stock under the Plan depends on whether we issue new shares to you or the Administrator obtains your shares by purchasing them in the open market.

The purchase price for common stock acquired directly from us will be the Market Price (as defined below) of the common stock. The purchase price for common stock that the Administrator purchases from parties other

 

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than us, either in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, will be 100% of the “average price per share” actually paid by the Administrator, excluding any processing fees. We are not required to provide any notice to you as to the source of the common stock to be purchased under the Plan.

Determination of “Market Price” and “Average Price Per Share.” For purposes of the calculation of the purchase price for common stock purchased directly from us, “Market Price” is equal to the average of the daily high and low sales prices, computed to four (4) decimal places on a daily basis, of our common stock on The New York Stock Exchange during the five (5) days on which the New York Stock Exchange is open and for which trades in our common stock are reported immediately preceding the investment date, or, if no trading occurs in our common stock on one or more of such days, for the five (5) days immediately preceding the Investment Date for which trades are reported.

For purposes of the calculation of the purchase price for common stock purchased from parties other than us, either on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions, “average price per share” is equal to the weighted average of the actual prices paid, computed up to six (6) decimal places, for all of the common stock purchased with all participants’ reinvested dividends.

Administrator’s Control of Purchase Terms. When open market purchases are made by the Administrator, these purchases may be made on any securities exchange where our common stock is traded, in the over-the-counter market or by negotiated transactions, and may be subject to the terms with respect to price, delivery and other matters to which the Administrator agrees. We do not, and you will not, have any authorization or power to direct the time or price at which shares will be purchased or the selection of the broker or dealer through or from whom purchases are to be made by the Administrator. However, when open market purchases are made by the Administrator, the Administrator will use its reasonable efforts to purchase the shares at the lowest possible price.

 

15.

How will the number of shares purchased for my account be determined?

Your account will be credited with the number of shares, including fractions computed to six (6) decimal places, equal to the total amount to be invested on your behalf, divided by the applicable price per share, calculated pursuant to the methods described above, as applicable.

The total amount to be invested will depend on the amount of any dividends paid on the number of shares you own and have designated for reinvestment. Subject to the availability of common stock registered for issuance under the Plan, there is no total maximum number of shares available for issuance pursuant to the reinvestment of dividends.

The amount of reinvested dividends to be invested will be reduced by any amount we are required to deduct for federal tax withholding purposes.

 

16.

What is the source of common stock purchased under the plan?

The Administrator will purchase common stock either directly from us or from parties other than us, either on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, or by a combination of the foregoing. We will determine the source of the common stock to be purchased under the Plan after a review of current market conditions and our current and projected capital needs. We and the Administrator are not required to provide any prior notice to you as to the source of the common stock to be purchased under the Plan.

 

17.

What are Investment Dates and when will dividends be invested?

Shares purchased under the Plan will be purchased on the “Investment Date.” The Investment Date will be (a) if acquired directly from us, the quarterly dividend payment date declared by our Board of Directors or (b) in the case of open market purchases, as soon as practicable following the date or dates of actual investment.

 

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For the reinvestment of dividends, the record date is the record date declared by our Board of Directors for that dividend. Likewise, the dividend payment date declared by the Board of Directors constitutes the Investment Date. We historically have paid quarterly dividends. We cannot assure you that we will pay dividends according to this schedule in the future, and nothing contained in the Plan obligates us to do so. Neither we nor the Administrator will be liable when conditions, including compliance with the rules and regulations of the SEC, prevent the Administrator from buying common stock or interfere with the timing of purchases. We pay dividends as and when declared by our Board of Directors. We cannot assure you that we will declare or pay a dividend in the future, and nothing contained in the Plan obligates us to do so. The Plan does not represent a guarantee of future dividends.

Shares will be allocated and credited to your Plan accounts on the appropriate Investment Date.

No interest will be paid on cash dividends pending investment or reinvestment under the terms of the Plan.

 

18.

Will I incur expenses in connection with my participation under the Plan?

You will pay a $0.05 per share processing fee for each share of common stock purchased through the Plan and a quarterly service fee of 5% of the total amount of the quarterly dividend reinvested, up to a maximum of $5.00. We will pay all other costs of administration of the Plan. However, if you request that the Administrator sell all or any portion of your shares or if you terminate your participation in the Plan, you will incur fees as described under Questions 23 and 24 below.

Reports to Participants

 

19.

How will I keep track of my investments?

You will receive a statement of your account following each purchase of additional shares. This detailed statement will provide you with the following information with respect to your Plan account:

 

   

price paid per common share;

 

   

total number of shares of common stock purchased, including fractional shares;

 

   

date of stock purchases; and

 

   

total number of shares of common stock in your Plan account.

You should retain these statements to determine the tax cost basis of the common stock purchased for your account under the Plan. In addition, you will receive copies of other communications sent to our stockholders, including our annual report to stockholders, the notice of annual meeting and proxy statement in connection with our annual meeting of stockholders and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, information for reporting dividends paid.

You can also view your account history and balance online by accessing the Administrator’s website at www.computershare.com/investor.

Dividends on Fractions of Shares

 

20.

Will I be credited with dividends on fractions of shares?

Yes. Any fractional share held in your Plan account (please read Question 15) that has been designated for participation in the Plan will receive a proportionate amount of any dividend declared on our common stock.

 

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Certificates for Common Stock

 

21.

Will I receive certificates for common stock purchased?

Safekeeping of Certificates. Normally, common stock purchased for you under the Plan will be held in the name of the Administrator or its nominee. The Administrator will credit the shares to your Plan account in “book-entry” form. This service protects against loss, theft or destruction of certificates evidencing common stock.

You may also elect to deposit with the Administrator certificates for other shares of common stock that you own and that are registered in your name for safekeeping under the Plan. The Administrator will credit the common stock represented by the certificates to your account in “book-entry” form and will combine the shares with any whole and fractional shares then held in your Plan account. In addition to protecting against the loss, theft or destruction of your certificates, this service is convenient if and when you sell common stock through the Plan. Because you bear the risk of loss in sending certificates to the Administrator, you should send certificates by registered mail, return receipt requested, and properly insured to the address specified in Question 7 above.

Issuance of Certificates. No certificates will be issued to you for common stock in the Plan unless you submit a written request to the Administrator or until your participation in the Plan is terminated. At any time, you may request the Administrator to send a certificate for some or all of the whole shares credited to your account. This request should be mailed to the Administrator at the address set forth in the answer to Question 7 or made via www.computershare.com/investor. There is a fee for this service. Any remaining whole shares and any fraction of a share will remain credited to your Plan account. Certificates for fractional shares will not be issued under any circumstances.

 

22.

In whose name will certificates be registered when issued?

Your Plan account will be maintained in the name in which your certificates were registered at the time of your enrollment in the Plan. Stock certificates for those shares purchased under the Plan will be similarly registered when issued upon your request. If your shares are held through a broker, bank or other nominee, such request must be placed through your broker, bank or other nominee.

Sale of Common Stock

 

23.

How do I sell common stock held in my Plan account?

You may contact the Administrator to sell all or any part of the common stock held in your Plan account. After receipt of your request, the Administrator will sell the common stock through a designated broker or dealer. You have options pursuant to which you may sell your common stock, which are described below.

Batch Order. A batch order is an accumulation of all sale requests by any Plan participant for shares submitted together as a collective request. Batch orders are submitted on each trading day, to the extent that there are sale requests. Sale instructions for batch orders received by the Administrator will be processed and sold in the open market no later than five (5) business days after the date on which the order is received (except where deferral is required under applicable U.S. federal or state laws or regulations), assuming the applicable market is open for trading and sufficient market liquidity exists. You may request a batch order sale by calling the Administrator directly at 1-877-239-3308 or by writing to the Administrator at P.O. Box 505000 Louisville, Kentucky 40233-5000. All sale requests received in writing will be submitted as batch order sales. To maximize cost savings for batch order sale requests, the Administrator will seek to sell common stock in round lot transactions. For this purpose the plan administrator may combine each selling Plan participant’s shares with those of other selling Plan participants. In every case of a batch order sale, the price to each selling Plan participant will be the weighted-average sale price obtained for each aggregate order placed by the Administrator, less a service fee of $25.00 and a processing fee of $0.12 per share sold.

 

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Market Order. A market order is a request to sell shares promptly at the then-current market price. You may request a market order sale only online at www.computershare.com/investor or by calling the Administrator directly at 1-877-239-3308. Market order sale requests made in writing will be submitted as batch order sales. Market order sale requests received online or by telephone will be placed promptly upon receipt during normal market hours (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time). Any orders received after 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time will be placed promptly on the next trading day. The price will be the market price for shares obtained by the broker, less a service fee of $25.00 and a processing fee of $0.12 per share sold. The Administrator will use commercially reasonable efforts to honor requests by participants to cancel market orders placed outside of market hours. Depending on the number of shares of common stock being sold and the current trading volume in the common stock, a market order may only be partially filled or not filled at all on the trading day on which it is placed, in which case the order, or remainder of the order, as applicable, will be cancelled at the end of such day. To determine if your shares were sold, you should check your account online at www.computershare.com/investor or call the Administrator directly at 1-877-239-3308. If your market order sale was not filled and you still want the common stock to be sold, you will need to re-enter the sale request.

Day Limit Order. A day limit order is an order to sell your common stock when and if it reaches a specific trading price on a specific day. The order is automatically cancelled if the price is not met by the end of that day (or, for orders placed during aftermarket hours, the next trading day the market is open). Depending on the number of shares being sold and the current trading volume in the common stock, such an order may only be partially filled, in which case the remainder of the order will be cancelled. The order may be cancelled by the applicable stock exchange, by the Administrator in its sole discretion or, if the order has not yet been filled, at your request made online at www.computershare.com/investor or by calling the Administrator directly at 1-877-239-3308. There is a service fee of $25.00 and a processing fee of $0.12 per share sold for each day limit order sale.

Good-Til-Cancelled Limit Order. A Good-Til-Cancelled (“GTC”) limit order is an order to sell common stock when and if the common stock reaches a specific trading price at any time while the order remains open (generally up to thirty (30) days). Depending on the number of shares being sold and the current trading volume in the common stock, sales may be executed in multiple transactions and over more than one day. If shares trade on more than one day, a separate service fee will be charged for each such day. The order (or any unexecuted portion thereof) is automatically cancelled if the trading price is not met by the end of the order period. The order may be cancelled by the applicable stock exchange, by the Administrator in its sole discretion or, if the broker has not filled the order, at your request made online at www.computershare.com/investor or by calling the Administrator directly at 1-877-239-3308. There is a service fee of $25.00 and a processing fee of $0.12 per share sold for each GTC limit order sale.

All sale requests processed over the telephone by a customer service representative entail an additional fee of $15.00. All per share fees include any brokerage commissions the Administrator is required to pay. Any fractional share will be rounded up to a whole share for purposes of calculating the per share fee. Fees are deducted from the proceeds derived from the sale. The Administrator may, under certain circumstances, require a transaction request to be submitted in writing. Please contact the Administrator to determine if there are any limitations applicable to your particular sale request. Proceeds are normally paid by check, which are distributed within twenty-four (24) hours after your sale transaction has settled.

If the Administrator sells all the common stock held in your Plan account, the Administrator will automatically terminate your account. In this case, you will have to complete and file a new enrollment form to rejoin the Plan.

Withdrawals and Termination

 

24.

When may I withdraw from the Plan?

You may withdraw from the Plan with respect to all or a portion of the shares held in your Plan account at any time. If the request to withdraw is received near a dividend record date set by our Board of Directors for determining stockholders of record entitled to receive a dividend, the Administrator, in its sole discretion, may

 

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either distribute such dividends in cash or reinvest them in shares on behalf of the withdrawing participant. If such dividends are reinvested, the Administrator will process the withdrawal as soon as practicable, but in no event later than five (5) business days after the reinvestment is completed.

All subsequent dividends will be paid out in cash on all balances. There is a processing fee of $15.00 plus $0.12 per share for selling any fractional share you own at the time you terminate your participation in the Plan.

 

25.

How do I withdraw from the Plan?

If you wish to withdraw from the Plan with respect to all or a portion of the common stock in your Plan account, you must notify the Administrator in writing at its mailing address by utilizing the stub attached to your statement, by phone or via its internet address specified in the answer to Question 7. Upon your withdrawal from the Plan or our termination of the Plan, whole shares credited to your account under the Plan will be moved to a book-entry Direct Registration System account with the Administrator, free of charge. A cash payment will be made for any fractional share. You will be charged $15.00 plus a $0.12 per share processing fee for the sale of any fractional shares you own at the time you terminate your participation in the plan.

Upon withdrawal from the Plan, you may also request in writing that the Administrator sell all or part of the shares credited to your Plan account. (Please read Question 24.)

Other Information

 

26.

May shares in my account be pledged?

You may not pledge any of the common stock in your Plan account. Any attempted pledge of such common stock will be void. If you wish to pledge common stock, you must first withdraw it from the Plan.

 

27.

What happens if the Company declares a dividend payable in shares or declares a share split?

Any dividend payable in shares and any additional shares distributed by us in connection with a share split in respect of shares credited to your Plan account will be added to that account. Share dividends or split shares that are attributable to shares registered in your own name and not in your Plan account will also be credited to your Plan account.

Transaction processing may be curtailed or suspended until the completion of any stock dividend, stock split or similar corporate action.

 

28.

How will shares held by the Administrator be voted at meetings of stockholders?

If you are a record owner, you will receive a proxy card covering both directly held common stock and common stock held in the Plan. If you hold your common stock through a broker, bank or other nominee, you should receive a proxy covering common stock held in the Plan from your broker, bank or other nominee.

If a proxy is returned properly signed and marked for voting, all of the common stock covered by the proxy will be voted as marked. If a proxy is returned properly signed but no voting instructions are given, all of your common stock will be voted in accordance with recommendations of our Board of Directors, unless applicable laws require otherwise. If the proxy is not returned, or if it is returned unexecuted or improperly executed, common stock registered in your name may be voted only by you and only in person.

 

29.

What are the Company’s responsibilities and those of the Administrator under the Plan?

Neither we, nor any of our agents, nor the Administrator, will be liable in administering the Plan for any act done in good faith or required by applicable law or for any good faith omission to act, including, without

 

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limitation, any claim of liability (a) arising out of failure to terminate your account upon your death or judgment of incompetence prior to the Administrator’s receipt of notice in writing of such death or judgment of incompetence, (b) with respect to the price at which common stock is purchased or sold and/or the times when such purchases or sales are made, or (c) relating to any fluctuation in the market value of the common stock.

Neither we, nor any of our agents, nor the Administrator, will have any duties, responsibilities or liabilities other than those expressly set forth in the Plan or as imposed by applicable laws, including federal securities laws. Since the Administrator has assumed all responsibility for administering the Plan, we specifically disclaim any responsibility for any of the Administrator’s actions or inactions in connection with the administration of the Plan. Neither we, nor any of our directors, officers, employees or stockholders will have any personal liability under the Plan.

We, our agents and the Administrator will be entitled to rely on completed forms and the proof of due authority to participate in the Plan, without further responsibility of investigation or inquiry.

 

30.

What will be my responsibilities under the Plan?

You should notify the Administrator promptly in writing of any change of address. The Administrator will address account statements and other communications to you at the last address of record you provide to the Administrator.

You will have no right to draw checks or drafts against your Plan account or to instruct the Administrator with respect to any common stock or cash held by the Administrator except as expressly provided herein.

 

31.

May the Plan be changed or discontinued?

Yes. We may suspend, terminate, or amend the Plan at any time in our sole discretion. Notice will be sent to you of any suspension or termination, or of any amendment that alters the Plan terms and conditions, as soon as practicable after we take such an action. We may also substitute another agent in place of the current Administrator at any time; you will be promptly informed of any such substitution. We will determine any questions of interpretation arising under the Plan, and any such determination will be final.

 

32.

Are there any risks associated with the Plan?

Your investment in common stock held in your Plan account is no different from your investment in common stock held directly. Neither we nor the Administrator can assure you a profit or protect you against a loss on the common stock that you purchase. You bear the risk of any loss and enjoy the benefits of any gain from market price changes with respect to such common stock. You should read carefully the risk factors described in our filings with the SEC before investing in our common stock.

 

33.

How will you interpret and regulate the Plan?

We will interpret, regulate and take any other action in connection with the Plan that we deem reasonably necessary to carry out the plan. We may adopt rules and regulations to facilitate the administration of the Plan. As a participant in the Plan, you will be bound by any actions taken by us or the Administrator.

 

34.

What are some of the tax consequences of my participation in the Plan?

The U.S. federal tax treatment of dividend reinvestment programs is not entirely clear. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor with specific reference to your own tax situation and potential changes in the applicable law as to all federal, state, local, foreign and other tax matters in connection with the reinvestment of dividends under the Plan, your tax basis and holding period for shares of common stock acquired under the Plan and the character, amount and tax treatment of any gain or loss realized on the disposition of shares of common stock. The following is a brief summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the Plan, is for general information only, and does not constitute tax advice.

 

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The information in this section is based on the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, existing, temporary and proposed regulations under the Code, the legislative history of the Code, current administrative rulings and practices of the IRS, and court decisions, all as of the date hereof. We cannot assure you that new laws, interpretations of law, or court decisions, any of which may take effect retroactively, will not cause any statement in this section to be inaccurate. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax consequences described below. We have not sought and will not seek an advance ruling from the IRS regarding any matter in this prospectus.

If you participate in the Plan, you will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as having received, on the Investment Date, a distribution in an amount equal to the sum of (a) the fair market value of the shares of common stock on the date the shares were acquired with reinvested dividends, (b) your pro rata share of any brokerage commissions paid by us in connection with the purchase of common stock by the Administrator from parties other than us, either on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions and (c) any cash distributions actually received by you with respect to common stock not included in the Plan. The tax basis of common stock purchased under the Plan will be equal to the fair market value of the common stock on the date the shares were acquired plus your pro rata share of any brokerage fees paid by us.

Distributions that you receive as a result of dividend reinvestment will be taxable as dividends and/or as a distribution that reduces the basis in your common stock or is treated as gain from the sale of common stock as discussed in “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock” and “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock” in this prospectus.

Your holding period for common stock acquired pursuant to the Plan will begin on the day following the Investment Date. Dividends received by corporate shareholders will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction.

You will not realize any taxable income upon receipt of certificates for whole shares of common stock credited to your account, either upon your request for certain of those shares or upon termination of participation in the Plan. You will realize gain or loss upon the sale or exchange of common stock acquired under the Plan. You will also realize gain or loss upon receipt, following termination of participation in the Plan, of a cash payment for any fractional share equivalent of common stock credited to your account. The amount of any such gain or loss will be the difference between the amount that you received for the shares or fractional share equivalent and the tax basis thereof. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock” and “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock” in this prospectus.

Withholding taxes or backup withholding will apply to dividends that are subject to the Plan in the same manner as withholding taxes and backup withholding apply to cash dividends. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations—Backup Withholding Tax and Information Reporting” and “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock” in this prospectus. In the case of participants that are subject to withholding tax or backup withholding in respect of amounts deemed to be received under the Plan, we or the Administrator will reinvest dividends less the amount of tax required to be withheld.

All costs of administering the Plan, except for costs related to your voluntary selling of common shares, will be paid by us. Consistent with the conclusion reached by the IRS in a private letter ruling issued to another REIT, we intend to take the position that these costs do not constitute a distribution which is either taxable to you or which would reduce your basis in your stock. However, since the private letter ruling was not issued to us, we have no legal right to rely on its conclusions. Thus, it is possible that the IRS might view your share of the costs as constituting a taxable dividend to you and/or a distribution which reduces the basis in your common stock or is treated as gain from the sale of common stock. For this or other reasons, we may in the future take a different position with respect to the costs of administering the Plan.

 

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MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS

The following summary describes material U.S. federal income tax considerations relating to the ownership of our common stock as of the date hereof by U.S. holders and non-U.S. holders, each as defined below. Except where noted, this summary deals only with shares of our common stock held as capital assets for U.S. federal income tax purposes and does not deal with special situations, such as:

 

   

dealers in securities or currencies,

 

   

financial institutions,

 

   

regulated investment companies;

 

   

tax-exempt entities (except as described in “ —Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Common Stock” below);

 

   

insurance companies;

 

   

persons holding our common stock as a part of a hedging, integrated;

 

   

conversion or constructive sale transaction or a straddle;

 

   

traders in securities that elect to use a mark-to-market method of accounting for their securities holdings;

 

   

investors in pass-through entities;

 

   

trusts and estates (except to the extent discussed herein);

 

   

persons who receive our securities through the exercise of employee stock options or otherwise as compensation

 

   

U.S. holders of our common stock whose “functional currency” is not the U.S. dollar;

 

   

persons holding our securities as part of a “straddle,” “hedge,” “conversion transaction,” “synthetic security” or other integrated investment;

 

   

persons liable for alternative minimum tax;

 

   

persons holding a 10% or more (by vote or value) beneficial interest in our stock; and

 

   

other persons subject to special tax rules.

Furthermore, the discussion below is based upon the provisions of the Code and regulations, rulings and judicial decisions thereunder as of the date hereof, and such authorities may be repealed, revoked or modified, possibly with retroactive effect, so as to result in U.S. federal income tax consequences different from those discussed below.

You should consult your tax advisors concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences in light of your particular situation as well as consequences arising under the laws of any other taxing jurisdiction.

Our Taxation as a REIT

We elected to be taxed as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2007. We believe that we are organized and have operated in a manner qualifying us as a REIT since our election and intend to continue to so operate. In the opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, we qualified to be taxed as a REIT under the U.S. federal income tax laws for our taxable years ended December 31, 2017 through December 31, 2020, and our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to qualify as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2021 and in the future. You should be aware that Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on existing U.S. federal income tax law

 

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governing qualification as a REIT, which is subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis, is not binding on the IRS or any court, and speaks as of the date issued. In addition, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion is based on customary assumptions and is conditioned upon certain representations made by us as to factual matters, including representations regarding the nature of our assets and the future conduct of our business, all of which are described in the opinion. Moreover, our continued qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, through actual operating results, certain qualification tests in the U.S. federal income tax laws. Those qualification tests involve the percentage of our income that we earn from specified sources, the percentages of our assets that fall within specified categories, the diversity of our share ownership and the percentage of our earnings that we distribute. While Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has reviewed those matters in connection with the foregoing opinion, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP will not review our compliance with those tests on a continuing basis. Accordingly, given the complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, including the potential tax treatment of the investments we make, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given that the actual results of our operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements. In addition, we will be required to make estimates of, or otherwise determine the value of, our assets and the collateral for our assets, and the values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. There can be no assurance that the IRS would not challenge our valuations or valuation estimates of our assets or collateral. Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s opinion does not foreclose the possibility that we may have to use one or more of the REIT savings provisions described below, which could require us to pay an excise or penalty tax (which could be material) in order for us to maintain our REIT qualification. For a discussion of the tax consequences of our failure to qualify as a REIT, see “—Failure to Qualify,” below.

The sections of the Code and the corresponding regulations that govern the U.S. federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its stockholders are highly technical and complex. The following discussion is qualified in its entirety by the applicable Code provisions, rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and administrative interpretations thereof. In any year in which we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on that portion of our net taxable income that we distribute currently to our stockholders, although taxable income generated by domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries, if any, will be subject to regular corporate income tax. Our stockholders generally will be taxed on dividends that they receive at ordinary income rates unless such dividends are designated by us as capital gain dividends. Distributions we make are not eligible for the dividends received deduction for corporations. We expect that ordinary dividends paid by us generally will not be eligible for the reduced rates that generally apply to distributions by non-REIT C corporations to certain U.S. individuals, trusts and estates, but may be eligible for the up to 20% pass-through deduction for such stockholders.

We are generally not subject to U.S. corporate income tax on income that we distribute currently to stockholders, but we will be subject to U.S. federal tax as follows:

 

   

We will pay U.S. federal income tax on our net taxable income, including net capital gain, that we do not distribute to stockholders during, or within a specified time period after, the calendar year in which the income is earned.

 

   

If we have net income from “prohibited transactions,” which are, in general, sales or other dispositions of property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property, such income will be subject to a 100% tax.

 

   

If we elect to treat property that we acquire in connection with a foreclosure of a mortgage loan or from certain leasehold terminations as “foreclosure property,” we may thereby avoid (a) the 100% tax on gain from a resale of that property (if the sale would otherwise constitute a prohibited transaction) and (b) the inclusion of any income from such property not qualifying for purposes of the REIT gross income tests discussed below, but the income from the sale or operation of the property may be subject to U.S. corporate income tax at the highest applicable rate.

 

   

If due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect we fail to satisfy either the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test discussed below, but nonetheless maintain our qualification as a REIT because other

 

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requirements are met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test, multiplied in either case by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability.

 

   

If we fail to satisfy the asset tests (other than a de minimis failure of the 5% Asset Test, the 10% Vote Test or the 10% Value Test, as described below under “—Asset Tests”) as long as the failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we dispose of the assets or otherwise comply with such asset tests within six months after the last day of the quarter in which we identify such failure and we file a schedule with the IRS describing the assets that caused such failure, we will pay a tax equal to the greater of $50,000 or the highest federal income tax rate then applicable to U.S. corporations on the net income from the nonqualifying assets during the period in which we failed to satisfy such asset tests.

 

   

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the gross income tests and the asset tests, and the failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, we will be required to pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure as described below under “- Failure to Qualify,”

 

   

We may be required to pay monetary penalties to the IRS in certain circumstances, including if we fail to meet recordkeeping requirements intended to monitor our compliance with rules relating to the composition of a REIT’s stockholders, as described below in “—Requirements for Qualification as a REIT.”

 

   

If we fail to distribute during each calendar year at least the sum of:

 

   

85% of our ordinary income for such calendar year;

 

   

95% of our capital gain net income for such calendar year; and

 

   

any undistributed taxable income from prior taxable years, we will pay a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of the required distribution over the amount we actually distributed, plus any retained amounts on which income tax has been paid at the corporate level.

 

   

We may elect to retain rather than distribute all or a portion of our net capital gains and pay income tax on the gains. In that case, a U.S. holder would include its proportionate share of our undistributed net long-term capital gains (to the extent we make a timely designation of such gain to the holder) in income and receive a credit for its proportionate share of the tax paid by us.

 

   

We will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary that are not conducted on an arm’s length basis.

 

   

If we acquire any appreciated assets from a non-REIT C-corporation in a carry-over basis transaction, we could be liable for tax with respect to “built-in gain” in those assets if we recognize gain on the sale or disposition of any such assets during the 5-year period after we acquire the assets. Built-in gain is the amount by which an asset’s fair market value exceeds its adjusted tax basis at the time we acquire the asset.

 

   

With respect to an interest in a taxable mortgage pool or a residual interest in a real estate mortgage investment conduit, or REMIC, the ownership of which is attributed to us or to a REIT in which we own an interest, although the law on the matter is unclear as to the ownership of an interest in a taxable mortgage pool, we may be taxable at the highest corporate rate on the amount of any excess inclusion income for the taxable year allocable to the percentage of our stock that is held in record name by “disqualified organizations.” To the extent that we own a REMIC residual interest or a taxable mortgage pool through a taxable REIT subsidiary, we will not be subject to this tax. A “disqualified organization” includes:

 

   

the U.S.;

 

   

any state or political subdivision of the U.S.;

 

   

any foreign government;

 

   

any international organization;

 

   

any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing;

 

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any other tax-exempt organization, other than a farmer’s cooperative described in section 521 of the Code, that is exempt both from income taxation and from taxation under the unrelated business taxable income provisions of the Code; and

 

   

any rural electrical or telephone cooperative.

We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing or other activities that would result in the allocation of excess inclusion to our shareholders. See “—Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income.”

In addition, notwithstanding our status as a REIT, we may also have to pay certain state and local income taxes, because not all states and localities treat REITs in the same manner that they are treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Moreover, as further described below, any domestic taxable REIT subsidiary in which we own an interest will be subject to U.S. federal (and applicable state and local) corporate income tax on its taxable income. In addition, we may be subject to a variety of taxes other than U.S. federal income tax, including state and local franchise, property and other taxes and foreign taxes. We could also be subject to tax in situations and on transactions not presently contemplated.

Requirements for Qualification as a REIT. The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association:

(1) that is managed by one or more trustees or directors;

(2) the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest;

(3) that would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for sections 856 through 859 of the Code;

(4) that is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to certain provisions of the Code;

(5) the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons;

(6) of which not more than 50% in value of the outstanding shares are owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities) after applying certain attribution rules;

(7) that makes an election to be a REIT for the current taxable year or has made such an election for a previous taxable year, which has not been terminated or revoked; and

(8) that meets other tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the distribution of its income;

(9) that uses the calendar year as its taxable year; and

(10) that has no earnings and profits from any non-REIT taxable year at the close of any taxable year

Conditions (1) (2) (3) (4), (8) and (9) must be met during the entire taxable year. Condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of 12 months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than 12 months. Condition (6) must be met during the last half of each taxable year. Neither conditions (5) nor (6) apply to the first taxable year for which an election to become a REIT is made. For purposes of determining the stock ownership requirement described in condition (6) above, an “individual” generally includes a supplemental unemployment compensation benefits plan, a private foundation, or a portion of a trust permanently set aside or used exclusively for charitable purposes. An “individual,” however, generally does not include a trust that is a qualified employee pension or profit sharing trust under the U.S. federal income tax laws,

 

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and beneficiaries of such a trust will be treated as holding our shares in proportion to their actuarial interests in the trust for purposes of the requirement described in condition (6) above. We believe that we have maintained and will maintain sufficient diversity of ownership to allow us to continue to satisfy conditions (5) and (6) above. In addition, our charter contains restrictions regarding the ownership and transfer of our stock that are intended to assist us in continuing to satisfy the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above. These restrictions, however, may not ensure that we will be able to satisfy these share ownership requirements. If we fail to satisfy these share ownership requirements, we will fail to qualify as a REIT.

If we comply with regulatory rules pursuant to which we are required to send annual letters to holders of our stock requesting information regarding the actual ownership of our stock (as discussed below), and we do not know, or exercising reasonable diligence would not have known, whether we failed to meet condition (6) above, we will be treated as having met the requirement.

To monitor compliance with the share ownership requirements described in conditions (5) and (6) above, we generally are required to maintain records regarding the actual ownership of our stock. To do so, we must demand written statements each year from the record holders of significant percentages of our stock pursuant to which the record holders must disclose the actual owners of the shares (i.e., the persons required to include our dividends in their gross income). We must maintain a list of those persons failing or refusing to comply with this demand as part of our records. We could be subject to monetary penalties if we fail to comply with these record-keeping requirements. If you fail or refuse to comply with the demands, you will be required by U.S. Treasury regulations to submit a statement with your tax return disclosing your actual ownership of our stock and other information. In addition, we must satisfy all relevant filing and other administrative requirements established by the IRS to elect and maintain REIT status, use a calendar year for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and comply with the record keeping requirements of the Code and regulations promulgated thereunder. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements.

Disregarded Entities and Partnerships. An unincorporated domestic entity, such as a partnership or limited liability company, that has a single owner for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is not treated as an entity separate from its parent for U.S. federal income tax purposes. An unincorporated domestic entity with two or more owners for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of a REIT that is a partner in an entity that is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes, U.S. Treasury regulations provide that the REIT is deemed to own its proportionate share of the partnership’s assets and to earn its proportionate share of the partnership’s gross income based on its pro rata share of capital interests in the partnership for purposes of the asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, as described below. However, solely for purposes of the 10% Value Test, described below (see “—Asset Tests”), the determination of a REIT’s interest in partnership assets will be based on the REIT’s proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, excluding for these purposes, certain excluded securities as described in the Code. In addition, the assets and gross income of the partnership generally are deemed to retain the same character in the hands of the REIT. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets and items of income of partnerships in which we own an equity interest is treated as assets and items of income of our company for purposes of applying the REIT requirements described below. Consequently, to the extent that we directly or indirectly hold a preferred or other equity interest in a partnership or limited liability company, the partnership’s or limited liability company’s assets and operations may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, even though we may have no control or only limited influence over the partnership.

Qualified REIT Subsidiaries. If a REIT owns a corporate subsidiary that is a “qualified REIT subsidiary,” the separate existence of that subsidiary is disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Generally, a qualified REIT subsidiary is a corporation, other than a taxable REIT subsidiary, all of the stock of which is owned directly or indirectly by the REIT. All assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the qualified REIT subsidiary will be treated as assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction and credit of the REIT itself. A qualified REIT subsidiary is not subject to U.S. federal corporate income taxation, although it may be subject to state and local taxation in some states.

 

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In the event that a qualified REIT subsidiary or disregarded subsidiary ceases to be wholly owned by us (for example, if any equity interest in the subsidiary is acquired by a person other than us or another disregarded subsidiary of us), the subsidiary’s separate existence would no longer be disregarded for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Instead, it would have multiple owners and would be treated as either a partnership or a taxable corporation. Such an event could, depending on the circumstances, adversely affect our ability to satisfy the various asset and gross income tests applicable to REITs, including the requirement that REITs generally may not own, directly or indirectly, more than 10% of the value or voting power of the outstanding securities of another corporation. See “—Asset Tests” and “—Income Tests.”

Taxable REIT Subsidiaries. A taxable REIT subsidiary is an entity that is taxable as a corporation in which we directly or indirectly own stock and that elects with us to be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary. In addition, if a taxable REIT subsidiary owns, directly or indirectly, securities representing 35% or more of the vote or value of a subsidiary corporation, that subsidiary will also be treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary. However, an entity will not qualify as a taxable REIT subsidiary if it directly or indirectly operates or manages a lodging or health care facility or, generally, provides to another person, under a franchise, license or otherwise, rights to any brand name under which any lodging facility or health care facility is operated. We generally may not own more than 10%, as measured by voting power or value, of the securities of a corporation that is not a qualified REIT subsidiary or a REIT unless we and such corporation elect to treat such corporation as a taxable REIT subsidiary. Overall, no more than 20% of the value of a REIT’s assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries.

Income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary is not attributable to the REIT. As a result, income that might not be qualifying income for purposes of the income tests applicable to REITs could be earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary without affecting our status as a REIT. Our domestic taxable REIT subsidiaries will be fully subject to corporate income tax on their taxable income.

Several provisions of the Code regarding the arrangements between a REIT and its taxable REIT subsidiaries ensure that a taxable REIT subsidiary will be subject to an appropriate level of U.S. federal income taxation. For example, a taxable REIT subsidiary is limited in its ability to deduct interest payments made to affiliated REITs. In addition, we would be obligated to pay a 100% penalty tax on some payments that we receive from, or on certain expenses deducted by, a taxable REIT subsidiary if the IRS were to assert successfully that the economic arrangements between us and a taxable REIT subsidiary are not comparable to similar arrangements among unrelated parties. Any income earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary that is attributable to services provided to us, or on our behalf to any of our tenants, that is less than the amounts that would have been charged based upon arm’s length negotiations, will also be subject to a 100% penalty tax. We intend to scrutinize all of our transactions with any of our subsidiaries that are treated as a taxable REIT subsidiary in an effort to ensure that we do not become subject to this penalty tax; however, we cannot assure you that we will be successful in avoiding this penalty tax.

Ownership of Subsidiary REITs. We own 100% of the common shares of a subsidiary REIT. Our subsidiary REIT is also subject to the same various REIT qualification requirements and other limitations described herein that are applicable to us. We believe that our subsidiary REIT is organized and has operated and will continue to operate in a manner to permit it to qualify for taxation as a REIT for federal income tax purposes from and after the effective date of its REIT election. However, if a subsidiary REIT of ours were to fail to qualify as a REIT, then (1) the subsidiary REIT would become subject to regular U.S. corporate income tax, as described herein, see “—Failure to Qualify” below, and (2) our ownership of shares in such subsidiary REIT would cease to be a qualifying real estate asset for purposes of the 75% asset test and would become subject to the 5% Asset Test, the 10% Vote Test, and the 10% Value Test generally applicable to our ownership in corporations other than REITs, qualified REIT subsidiaries and TRSs. See “—Asset Tests” below. If our subsidiary REIT were to fail to qualify as a REIT, it is possible that we would not meet the 10% Vote Test and the 10% Value Test with respect to our indirect interest in such entity, in which event we would fail to qualify as a REIT unless we could avail ourselves of certain relief provisions. While we believe that our subsidiary REIT has qualified as a REIT under the Code,

 

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we have joined the subsidiary REIT in filing a “protective” TRS election with respect to the subsidiary REIT. We cannot assure you that such “protective” TRS election would be effective to avoid adverse consequences to us. Moreover, even if the “protective” election were to be effective, the subsidiary REIT would be subject to regular corporate income tax, and we cannot assure you that we would not fail to satisfy the requirement that not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may be represented by the securities of one or more TRSs, as well as the requirement that taxable income from our TRSs plus other nonqualifying gross income not exceed 25% of our total gross income.

Taxable Mortgage Pools and Excess Inclusion Income. An entity, or a portion of an entity, that does not elect to be treated as a REMIC may be classified as a taxable mortgage pool, or TMP, under the Code if:

 

   

substantially all of its assets consist of debt obligations or interests in debt obligations;

 

   

more than 50% of those debt obligations are real estate mortgages or interests in real estate mortgages as of specified testing dates;

 

   

the entity has issued debt obligations (liabilities) that have two or more maturities; and

 

   

the payments required to be made by the entity on its debt obligations “bear a relationship” to the payments to be received by the entity on the debt obligations that it holds as assets.

Under the applicable U.S. Treasury regulations, if less than 80% of the assets of an entity (or a portion of an entity) consist of debt obligations, these debt obligations are considered not to comprise “substantially all” of its assets, and therefore the entity would not be treated as a taxable mortgage pool.

A TMP generally is treated as a taxable corporation and it cannot file a consolidated U.S. federal income tax return with any other corporation. If, however, a REIT owns 100% of the equity interests in a TMP, then the TMP is a qualified REIT subsidiary and, as such, ignored as an entity separate from the REIT, but a portion of the REIT’s income will be treated as excess inclusion income and a portion of the dividends the REIT pays to U.S. shareholders will be treated as excess inclusion income.

Section 860E(c) of the Code defines the term “excess inclusion” with respect to a residual interest in a REMIC. The IRS has yet to issue guidance on the computation of excess inclusion income on equity interests in a TMP held by a REIT. Generally, however, excess inclusion income with respect to our investment in any TMP and any taxable year will equal the excess of (i) the amount of income we accrue on our investment in the TMP over (ii) the amount of income we would have accrued if our investment were a debt instrument having an issue price equal to the fair market value of our investment on the day we acquired it and a yield to maturity equal to 120% of the long-term applicable federal rate in effect on the date we acquired our interest. The term “applicable federal rate” refers to rates that are based on weighted average yields for U.S. Treasury securities and are published monthly by the IRS for use in various tax calculations. If we undertake securitization transactions that are TMPs, the amount of excess inclusion income we recognize in any taxable year could represent a significant portion of our total taxable income for that year.

Although we intend to structure our securitization and financing transactions so that we will not recognize any excess inclusion income, we cannot assure you that we will always be successful in this regard. If, notwithstanding our intent, we recognized excess inclusion income, then under guidance issued by the IRS we would be required to allocate the excess inclusion income proportionately among the dividends we pay to our stockholders and we must notify our stockholders of the portion of our dividends that represents excess inclusion income. The portion of any dividend you receive that is treated as excess inclusion income is subject to special rules. First, your taxable income can never be less than the sum of your excess inclusion income for the year; excess inclusion income cannot be offset with net operating losses or other allowable deductions. Second, if you are a tax-exempt organization and your excess inclusion income is subject to the unrelated business income tax, then the excess inclusion portion of any dividend you receive will be treated as unrelated business taxable income. Third, dividends paid to Non-U.S. holders who hold stock for investment and not in connection with a

 

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trade or business conducted in the U.S. will be subject to U.S. federal withholding tax without regard to any reduction in rate otherwise allowed by any applicable income tax treaty.

If we recognize excess inclusion income, and one or more disqualified organizations are record holders of shares of common stock, we will be taxable at the highest federal corporate income tax rate on the portion of any excess inclusion income equal to the percentage of our stock that is held by disqualified organizations. In such circumstances, we may reduce the amount of our distributions to a disqualified organization whose stock ownership gave rise to the tax. To the extent that our common stock owned by disqualified organizations is held by a broker/dealer or other nominee, the broker/dealer or other nominee would be liable for a tax at the highest corporate tax rate on the portion of our excess inclusion income allocable to our common stock held by the broker/dealer or other nominee on behalf of the disqualified organizations.

We do not currently intend to hold REMIC residual interests or engage in financing or other activities that would result in the allocation of excess inclusion to our shareholders.

Tax-exempt investors, non-U.S. investors and taxpayers with net operating losses should carefully consider the tax consequences described above and are urged to consult their tax advisors in connection with their decision to invest in our common stock.

Income Tests

To qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income requirements, each of which is applied on an annual basis. First, at least 75% of our gross income for each taxable year generally must be derived directly or indirectly from:

 

   

rents from real property;

 

   

interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property and interest on debt secured by a mortgage on real property and personal property if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all such property, and interest on qualified mezzanine loans;

 

   

dividends or other distributions on, and gain from the sale of, stock in other REITs;

 

   

gain from the sale of real estate assets;

 

   

abatements and refunds of taxes on real property;

 

   

income and gain derived from foreclosure property (as described below);

 

   

amounts (other than amounts the determination of which depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person) received or accrued as consideration for entering into agreements (i) to make loans secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property or (ii) to purchase or lease real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property);

 

   

income derived from a REMIC in proportion to the real estate assets held by the REMIC, unless at least 95% of the REMIC’s assets are real estate assets, in which case all of the income derived from the REMIC; and

 

   

interest or dividend income from investments in stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt obligations with at least a five-year term.

Although a debt instrument issued by a “publicly offered REIT” (i.e., a REIT that is required to file annual and periodic reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act) is treated as a “real estate asset” for the asset tests, the interest income and gain from the sale of such debt instruments is not treated as qualifying income for the 75% gross income test unless the debt instrument is secured by real property or an interest in real property.

 

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Second, at least 95% of our gross income for each taxable year must be derived from sources that qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test, and from (i) dividends, (ii) interest and (iii) gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities.

Gross income from the following sources is excluded from both the numerator and the denominator in both gross income tests:

 

   

gain from a sale of property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business;

 

   

income and gain from hedging transactions that we enter into to hedge indebtedness incurred or to be incurred to acquire or carry real estate assets and that are clearly and timely identified as such;

 

   

certain foreign currency gains; and

 

   

cancellation of indebtedness (“COD”) income.

We will monitor the amount of our non-qualifying income and we will seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with the gross income tests, but we cannot assure you that we will be successful in this effort. The following paragraphs discuss some of the specific applications of the gross income tests to us.

Interest. The term “interest,” as defined for purposes of both gross income tests, generally excludes any amount that is based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person, however, it generally includes the following: (i) an amount that is received or accrued based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales, and (ii) an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor, as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt by leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, and only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying “rents from real property” if received directly by a REIT. We do not expect that any of our loans will be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person.

If a loan contains a provision that entitles a REIT to a percentage of the borrower’s gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the property’s value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests, provided that the property is not inventory or dealer property in the hands of the borrower or the REIT.

Interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property, including, for this purpose, market discount, original issue discount, discount point, prepayment penalties, loan assumption fees and late payment charges that are not compensation for services, generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. If a loan is secured by real property and other property and the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan as of the date (i) we agreed to originate or acquire the loan or (ii) as discussed below, in the event of a “significant modification,” the date we modified the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. If apportionment is required, the percentage of the interest income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test will be equal to the percentage of the principal amount of the loan that is not secured by real property—that is, the amount by which the loan exceeds the value of the real estate that is security for the loan. IRS guidance provides that we do not need to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan in connection with a loan modification that is occasioned by a borrower default or made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. In addition, in the case of a loan that is secured by both real property and personal property, if the fair market value of such personal property does not exceed 15% of the total fair market value of all property securing the loan, then the personal property securing the loan will be treated as real property for purposes of determining whether the interest on such loan is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test.

 

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We expect that the MBS in which we invest generally will be treated either as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes and that all interest income from such MBS will be qualifying income for the 95% gross income test. In the case of MBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. The interest on such mortgage loans would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test to the extent that the obligation is secured by real property, as discussed above. In the case of MBS treated as interests in a REMIC, income derived from REMIC interests generally will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. If less than 95% of the assets of the REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest will qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In addition, some REMIC securitizations include imbedded interest swap or cap contracts or other derivative instruments that potentially could produce non-qualifying income for the holder of the related REMIC securities.

We may modify the terms of our mortgage loans. Under the Code, if the terms of a loan are modified in a manner constituting a “significant modification,” such modification triggers a deemed exchange of the original loan for the modified loan. IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor pursuant to which we will not be required to redetermine the fair market value of the real property securing a loan for purposes of the gross income and asset tests in connection with a loan modification that is (i) occasioned by a borrower default or (ii) made at a time when we reasonably believe that the modification to the loan will substantially reduce a significant risk of default on the original loan. To the extent we significantly modify loans in a manner that does not qualify for that safe harbor, we will be required to redetermine the value of the real property securing the loan at the time it was significantly modified, which could result in a portion of the interest income on the loan being treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. In determining the value of the real property securing such a loan, we generally will not obtain third-party appraisals but rather will rely on internal valuations.

The interest, original issue discount, and market discount income that we will receive from our mortgage-related assets generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. Some of our investments will not be secured by mortgages on real property or interests in real property. Our interest income from those investments will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.

We have entered, and intend to enter, into financing arrangements that are structured as sale and repurchase agreements pursuant to which we would nominally sell certain of our assets to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase these assets at a later date in exchange for a purchase price. Economically, these agreements are financings that are secured by the assets sold pursuant thereto. We believe that we would be treated for REIT asset and income test purposes as the owner of the assets that are the subject of any such sale and repurchase agreement notwithstanding that such agreements may transfer record ownership of the assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could assert that we did not own the assets during the term of the sale and repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Hedging Transactions. We may enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Hedging transactions could take a variety of forms, including interest rate swap agreements, interest rate cap agreements, options, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments. Except to the extent provided by U.S. Treasury regulations, any income from a hedging transaction we enter into (i) in the normal course of our business primarily to manage risk of interest rate or price changes or currency fluctuations with respect to borrowings made or to be made, or ordinary obligations incurred or to be incurred, to acquire or carry real estate assets, which is clearly identified as specified in U.S. Treasury regulations before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, (ii) primarily to manage risk of currency fluctuations with respect to any item of income or gain that would be qualifying income under the 75% or 95% gross income tests that is clearly identified as such

 

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before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated or entered into and satisfies other identification requirements, or (iii) in connection with the effective termination of certain hedging transactions described above, will not constitute gross income for purposes of the 75% or 95% gross income tests. To the extent that we enter into other types of hedging transactions, the income from those transactions is likely to be treated as non-qualifying income for purposes of both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. We intend to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our qualification as a REIT.

We may conduct some or all of our hedging activities through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporate entity, the income of which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, rather than by participating in the arrangements directly or through pass-through subsidiaries. No assurance can be given, however, that our hedging activities will not give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of either or both of the REIT gross income tests, or that our hedging activities will not adversely affect our ability to satisfy the REIT qualification requirements.

Even if the income from our hedging transactions is excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests, such income and any loss will be taken into account in determining our REIT taxable income and our distribution requirement. If the IRS disagrees with our calculation of the amount or timing of recognition of gain or loss with respect to our hedging transactions, our distribution requirement could increase, which could require that we correct any shortfall in distributions by paying deficiency dividends to our stockholders in a later year.

Fee Income. We may earn income from fees in certain circumstances. Fee income generally will be qualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests if it is received in consideration for entering into an agreement to make a loan secured by real property and, the fees are not determined by income and profits. Other fees generally are not qualifying income for purposes of either gross income test, and thus cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. We may conduct some or all of our fee-generating activities through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other corporate entity, the income from which may be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Any fees earned by a taxable REIT subsidiary will not be included in our gross income for purposes of the gross income tests.

COD Income. From time-to-time, we may recognize COD income in connection with repurchasing our debt at a discount. COD income is excluded from gross income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Any COD income that we recognize would be subject to the distribution requirements, subject to certain rules that apply to excess non-cash income, or we will incur corporate income tax and a 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to any COD income.

Rents from Real Property. We do not currently own any real property for the production of rental income. If we were to acquire real property or an interest therein for the production of rental income, rents we receive would qualify as “rents from real property” in satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if several conditions are met. These conditions relate to the identity of the tenant, the computation of the rent payable, and the nature of the property leased. First, the amount of rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded from rents from real property solely by reason of being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales. Second, rents we receive from a “related party tenant” will not qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income tests unless the tenant is a taxable REIT subsidiary, at least 90% of the property is leased to unrelated tenants, the rent paid by the taxable REIT subsidiary is substantially comparable to the rent paid by the unrelated tenants for comparable space and the rent is not attributable to an increase in rent due to a modification of a lease with a “controlled taxable REIT subsidiary” (i.e., a taxable REIT subsidiary in which we own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the voting power or value of the stock). A tenant is a related party tenant if the REIT, or an actual or constructive owner of 10% or more of the REIT, actually or constructively owns 10% or more of the tenant. Third, if rent attributable to personal property leased in connection with a lease of real property is greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease, then the portion of rent attributable

 

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to the personal property will not qualify as rents from real property. Finally, for rents to qualify as “rents from real property” for purposes of the gross income tests, we are only allowed to provide services that are both usually or “customarily rendered” in connection with the rental of real property and not otherwise considered “rendered to the occupant.” We may, however, render services to our tenants through an “independent contractor” who is adequately compensated and from whom we do not derive revenue. We may also own a taxable REIT subsidiary which provides non-customary services to tenants without tainting our rental income from the related properties.

Even if a REIT furnishes or renders services that are non-customary with respect to a property, if the greater of (i) the amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly, or deemed received by the REIT with respect to such services, or (ii) 150% of our direct cost in furnishing or rendering the services during a taxable year is not more than 1% of all amounts received or accrued, directly or indirectly by the REIT with respect to the property during the same taxable year, then only the amounts with respect to such non-customary services are not treated as rent for purposes of the REIT gross income tests.

Prohibited Transactions Tax. A REIT will incur a 100% tax on the net income derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, that the REIT holds primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. Any such income will be excluded from the application of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Whether a REIT holds an asset primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business depends, however, on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to a particular asset. Nevertheless, we generally intend to conduct our operations so that no asset that we own will be treated as, or as having been, held for sale to customers, and that a sale of any such asset will not be treated as having been in the ordinary course of our business. We cannot assure you that we will comply with certain safe harbor provisions or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. The 100% tax will not apply to gains from the sale of property that is held through a taxable REIT subsidiary or other taxable corporation, although such income will be subject to tax in the hands of the corporation at regular corporate income tax rates.

Foreclosure Property. We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any income (including foreign currency gain) from foreclosure property, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. However, gross income from foreclosure property, including gain from the sale of foreclosure property held for sale in the ordinary course of a trade or business, will qualify for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:

 

   

that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid on such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;

 

   

for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and

 

   

for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.

However, a REIT will not be considered to have foreclosed on a property where the REIT takes control of the property as a mortgagee-in-possession and cannot receive any profit or sustain any loss except as a creditor of the mortgagor.

Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the

 

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U.S. Treasury. This grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:

 

   

on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property), or any amount is received or accrued, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day that will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test (disregarding income from foreclosure property);

 

   

on which any construction takes place on the property (other than completion of a building, or any other improvement, where more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent); or

 

   

which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business that is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income or a taxable REIT subsidiary.

We may have the option to foreclose on mortgage loans when a borrower is in default. The foregoing rules could affect a decision by us to foreclose on a particular mortgage loan and could affect whether we choose to foreclose with regard to a particular mortgage loan.

Foreign Currency Gain. Certain foreign currency gains will be excluded from gross income for purposes of one or both of the gross income tests. “Real estate foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Real estate foreign exchange gain generally includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations secured by mortgages on real property or an interest in real property and certain foreign currency gain attributable to certain “qualified business units” of a REIT that satisfies the 75% gross income test and 75% asset test on a stand-alone basis. “Passive foreign exchange gain” will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. Passive foreign exchange gain generally includes real estate foreign exchange gain as described above, and also includes foreign currency gain attributable to any item of income or gain that is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test and foreign currency gain attributable to the acquisition or ownership of (or becoming or being the obligor under) obligations. These exclusions for real estate foreign exchange gain and passive foreign exchange gain do not apply to any foreign currency gain derived from dealing, or engaging in substantial and regular trading, in securities. Such gain is treated as nonqualifying income for purposes of both the 75% and 95% gross income tests.

Dividends. Our dividend income from stock in any corporation (other than any REIT) and from any taxable REIT subsidiary will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. If we own stock in other REITs, the dividends that we receive from those REITs and our gain on the sale of the stock in those REITs will be qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests. However, if a REIT in which we own stock fails to qualify as a REIT in any year, our income from such REIT would be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test.

Phantom income. Due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from certain assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow from or proceeds from disposition of such assets, and may be required to report taxable income that exceeds the economic income ultimately realized on such assets.

We may acquire debt instruments or MBS in the secondary market for less than their face amount. The amount of such discount generally will be treated as “market discount” for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Accrued market discount is reported as income when, and to the extent that, any payment of principal of the debt instrument is made, unless we elect to include accrued market discount in income as it accrues. Principal

 

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payments on certain loans are made monthly, and consequently accrued market discount may have to be included in income each month as if the debt instrument were assured of ultimately being collected in full. If we collect less on the debt instrument than our purchase price plus the market discount we had previously reported as income, we may not be able to benefit from any offsetting loss deductions.

Some of the loans and debt securities that we acquire may have been issued with original issue discount. In general, we will be required to accrue original issue discount based on the constant yield to maturity of the debt securities, and to treat it as taxable income in accordance with applicable U.S. federal income tax rules even though such yield may exceed cash payments, if any, received on such debt instrument.

We generally will be required to take certain amounts in income no later than the time such amounts are reflected on certain financial statements. The application of this rule may require the accrual of income with respect to our debt instruments or MBS, such as original issue discount, earlier than would be the case under the general tax rules, although the precise application of this rule is unclear at this time. To the extent that this rule requires the accrual of income earlier than under the general tax rules, it could increase our phantom income, which may make it more likely that we could be required to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this phantom income is recognized. We currently do not expect that this rule will have a material impact on the timing of accrual of our income or on the amount of our distribution requirement.

We may agree to modify the terms of distressed and other loans we hold. These modifications may be considered “significant modifications” for U.S. federal income tax purposes that give rise to a deemed debt-for-debt exchange upon which we may recognize taxable income or gain without a corresponding receipt of cash.

In addition, in the event that any debt instruments or debt securities acquired by us are delinquent as to mandatory principal and interest payments, or in the event payments with respect to a particular debt instrument are not made when due, we may nonetheless be required to continue to recognize the unpaid interest as taxable income. Similarly, we may be required to accrue interest income with respect to subordinated MBS at the stated rate regardless of whether corresponding cash payments are received.

Finally, we may be required under the terms of indebtedness that we incur to use cash received from interest payments to make principal payments on that indebtedness, with the effect of recognizing income but not having a corresponding amount of cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

As a result of each of these potential timing differences between income recognition or expense deduction and cash receipts or disbursements, there is a significant risk that we may have substantial taxable income in excess of cash available for distribution. In that event, we may need to borrow funds or take other action to satisfy the REIT distribution requirements for the taxable year in which this “phantom income” is recognized. See “—Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs.”

Failure to Satisfy Gross Income Tests. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% and 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may nevertheless qualify as a REIT for that year if we are entitled to qualify for relief under certain provisions of the Code. Generally, those relief provision will be available if our failure to meet the tests is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, and we attach a schedule of the sources of our income to our U.S. federal income tax return. It is not possible, however, to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions. For example, if we fail to satisfy the gross income tests because nonqualifying income that we intentionally recognize exceeds the limits on nonqualifying income, the IRS could conclude that the failure to satisfy the tests was not due to reasonable cause. If these relief provisions are inapplicable to a particular set of circumstances, we will fail to qualify as a REIT. Even if these relief provisions apply, a penalty tax would be imposed based on the amount of nonqualifying income. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT” and “—Failure to Qualify.”

 

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Asset Tests

To maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must also satisfy the following asset tests at the close of each quarter of each of our taxable years:

 

   

At least 75% of the value of our total assets must consist of the following (the “75% Asset Test,” and the assets listed below the “75% Asset Class”):

 

   

interests in real property, including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, and, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2015, personal property to the extent such personal property is leased in connection with real property and rents attributable to such personal property are treated as “rents from real property” as a result of such rents not exceeding 15% of the total rent attributable to personal property and real property under such lease;

 

   

interests in mortgages on real property or on interests in real property;

 

   

stock in other REITs and debt instruments issued by “publicly offered” REITs;

 

   

cash and cash items;

 

   

government securities;

 

   

investments in stock or debt instruments attributable to the temporary investment of new capital during the one-year period following our receipt of new capital that we raise through equity offerings or public offerings of debt obligations with at least a five-year term; and

 

   

regular or residual interests in a REMIC. However, if less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC consist of assets that are qualifying real estate assets under the U.S. federal income tax laws, determined as if we held such assets directly, we will be treated as holding directly our proportionate share of the assets of such REMIC.

 

   

Not more than 25% of our total assets may be represented by securities, other than those in the 75% Asset Class (the “25% Securities Test”).

 

   

Except for securities in taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% Asset Class, the value of any one issuer’s securities owned by us may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets (the “5% Asset Test”).

 

   

Except for securities in taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% Asset Class, we may not own more than 10% of any one issuer’s outstanding voting securities (the “10% Vote Test).

 

   

Except for securities of taxable REIT subsidiaries and the securities in the 75% Asset Class, we may not own more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer, other than securities that qualify for the “straight debt” exception discussed below ( the “10% Value Test”).

 

   

Not more than 20% of the value of our total assets may consist of securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries.

 

 

Not more than 25% of the value of our total assets may be represented by debt instruments of “publicly offered” REITs that are not secured by real property or interests in real property.

For purposes of the 5% Asset Test, the 10% Vote Test and the 10% Value Test, the term “securities” does not include stock in another REIT, debt of “publicly offered REITs,” equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or a taxable REIT subsidiary, mortgage loans or MBS that constitute real estate assets, or equity interests in a partnership. The term “securities”, however, generally includes debt securities issued by a partnership or another REIT (other than a “publicly offered REIT”), except that, for purposes of the 10% Value Test, the term “securities” does not include:

 

   

“straight debt” securities, defined as a written unconditional promise to pay on demand or on a specified date a sum certain in money if (i) the debt is not convertible, directly or indirectly, into stock, and (ii) the

 

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interest rate and interest payment dates are not contingent on the profits, the borrower’s discretion, or similar factors. In the case of an issuer that is a corporation or a partnership, securities that otherwise would be considered straight debt will not be so considered if we, and any of our “controlled taxable REIT subsidiaries” as defined in the Code, hold any securities of the corporate or partnership issuer that (a) are not straight debt or other excluded securities (prior to the application of this rule), and (b) have an aggregate value greater than 1% of the issuer’s outstanding securities (including, for the purposes of a partnership issuer, our interest as a partner in the partnership). However, “straight debt” securities include debt subject to the following contingencies:

 

   

a contingency relating to the time of payment of interest or principal, as long as either (i) there is no change to the effective yield of the debt obligation, other than a change to the annual yield that does not exceed the greater of 0.25% or 5% of the annual yield, or (ii) neither the aggregate issue price nor the aggregate face amount of the issuer’s debt obligations held by us exceeds $1 million and no more than twelve months of unaccrued interest on the debt obligations can be required to be prepaid; and

 

   

a contingency relating to the time or amount of payment upon a default or prepayment of a debt obligation, as long as the contingency is consistent with customary commercial practice;

In addition, the following instruments will not be considered securities for purposes of the 10% Value Test: (i) a REIT’s interest as a partner in a partnership; (ii) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or any other excluded security) if at least 75% of the partnership’s gross income is derived from sources that would qualify for the 75% REIT gross income test; (iii) any debt instrument issued by a partnership (other than straight debt or any other excluded security) to the extent of the REIT’s interest as a partner in the partnership; (iv) any loan to an individual or an estate; (v) any “section 467 rental agreement,” other than an agreement with a related party tenant; (vi) any obligation to pay “rents from real property”; (vii) certain securities issued by governmental entities that are not dependent in whole or in part on the profits of (or payments made by) a non-governmental entity; and (viii) any security (including debt securities) issued by another REIT. For purposes of the 10% Value Test, our proportionate share of the assets of a partnership is our proportionate interest in any securities issued by the partnership, without regard to the securities described clause (i) and (ii) in the preceding sentence.

For purposes of the 75% Asset Test, mortgage loans generally will qualify as real estate assets to the extent that they are secured by real property. Where a mortgage covers both real property and other property, an apportionment may be required in the same manner as described under “—Income Tests—Interest.” IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-51 provides a safe harbor under which the IRS has stated that it will not challenge a REIT’s treatment of a loan as being, in part, a qualifying real estate asset in an amount equal to the lesser of (i) the fair market value of the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (ii) the greater of (a) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the relevant quarterly REIT asset testing date or (b) the fair market value of the real property securing the loan on the date the REIT committed to originate or acquire the loan. It is unclear how the safe harbor in Revenue Procedure 2014-51 is affected by the subsequent legislative changes regarding the treatment of loans secured by both real property and personal property where the fair market value of the personal property does not exceed 15% of the sum of the fair market values of the real property and personal property securing the loan.

We expect that our investments in MBS generally will be treated as interests in a grantor trust or as interests in a REMIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In the case of MBS treated as interests in grantor trusts, we would be treated as owning an undivided beneficial ownership interest in the mortgage loans held by the grantor trust. In the case of MBS treated as an interest in a REMIC, such interests generally will qualify as real estate assets, and income derived from REMIC interests generally will be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the REIT income tests described above. If less than 95% of the assets of a REMIC are real estate assets, however, then only a proportionate part of our interest in the REMIC and income derived from the interest qualifies for purposes of the REIT asset and income tests.

 

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We believe that most of the assets that we hold and those we expect to hold will be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. However, our investment in other asset-backed securities, bank loans and other instruments that are not secured by mortgages on real property will not be qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% Asset Test.

We will monitor the status of our assets for purposes of the various asset tests and will seek to manage our portfolio to comply at all times with such tests. There can be no assurances, however, that we will be successful in this effort. In this regard, to determine our compliance with these requirements, we will need to estimate the value of the real estate securing our mortgage loans at various times. In addition, we will be required to value our investment in our other assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests. Although we will seek to be prudent in making these estimates, no independent appraisals will be obtained to support our conclusions as to the value of our assets and securities, or in many cases, the real estate collateral for the mortgage loans that we hold. Moreover, values of some assets may not be susceptible to a precise determination. As a result, there can be no assurances that the IRS may not disagree with these determinations and assert that a different value is applicable, in which case we may not satisfy the 75% and the other Asset Tests.

We will not lose our REIT status for a de minimis failure to meet the 5% or 10% asset requirements if the failure is due to ownership of assets the total value of which does not exceed the lesser of 1% of the total value of our assets or $10 million. If we fail to satisfy any of the asset requirements for a particular tax quarter, we may still qualify as a REIT if we (1) identify the failure on a separate schedule, (2) the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (3) the assets causing the failure are disposed of (or the requirements are otherwise met) within six months of the last day of the quarter in which the failure was identified and (4) we pay a tax computed as the greater of either $50,000 or the net income generated by the assets causing the failure multiplied by the highest corporate income tax rate.

After initially meeting the asset tests after the close of any quarter, we will not lose our status as a REIT if we fail to satisfy the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in the relative values of our assets. However, an acquisition of property by a REIT requires the REIT to revalue all of its assets. If the failure to satisfy the asset tests results from an increase in the value of our assets after the acquisition of securities or other property during a quarter, the failure can be cured by eliminating the discrepancy within 30 days after the close of that quarter. We intend to maintain adequate records of the value of our assets to ensure compliance with the asset tests and to take any available action within 30 days after the close of any quarter as may be required to cure any noncompliance with the asset tests. We cannot ensure that these steps always will be successful. If we fail to cure the noncompliance with the asset tests within this 30-day period, we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Annual Distribution Requirements Applicable to REITs

To qualify as a REIT, we generally must distribute dividends (other than capital gain dividends) to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to:

 

   

the sum of (i) 90% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain and (ii) 90% of our after-tax net income, if any, from foreclosure property; minus

 

   

the excess of the sum of specified items of non-cash income (including original issue discount on our mortgage loans) over 5% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain.

Distributions generally must be made during the taxable year to which they relate. Distributions may be made in the following year in two circumstances. First, if we declare a dividend in October, November or December of any year with a record date in one of these months and pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year, we will be treated as having paid the dividend on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared. Second, distributions may be made in the following year if the dividends are declared

 

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before we timely file our tax return for the year and if made before the first regular dividend payment made after such declaration. These distributions are taxable to our stockholders in the year in which paid, even though the distributions relate to our prior taxable year for purposes of the 90% distribution requirement. To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain or we distribute at least 90%, but less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax on the undistributed amount at regular corporate tax rates.

If we cease to be a “publicly offered REIT,” then in order for distributions to be counted as satisfying the annual distribution requirements for REITs, and to provide us with a REIT-level tax deduction, the distributions must not be treated as “preferential dividends.” A dividend is not a preferential dividend if the distribution is (i) pro-rata among all outstanding shares of stock within a particular class, and (ii) in accordance with the preferences among different classes of stock as set forth in our organizational documents.

As described above, if we fail to distribute during a calendar year (or, in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, by the end of January following such calendar year) at least the sum of (i) 85% of our ordinary income for such year, (ii) 95% of our capital gain net income for such year and (iii) any undistributed taxable income from prior years, we will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the sum of (x) the amounts actually distributed (taking into account excess distributions from prior years) and (y) the amounts of income retained on which we have paid corporate income tax.

We may elect to retain rather than distribute all or a portion of our net capital gains and pay income tax on the gains. In that case, our stockholders would include their proportionate share of the undistributed net long-term capital gains in income and receive a credit for their proportionate share of the tax paid by us. For purposes of the 4% excise tax described above, any retained amounts for which we elect this treatment would be treated as having been distributed.

We intend to make timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the distribution requirements. However, due to the nature of the assets in which we will invest, we may be required to recognize taxable income from those assets in advance of our receipt of cash flow on or proceeds from disposition of such assets. For instance, we may be required to accrue interest and discount income on mortgage loans, MBS, and other types of debt securities or interests in debt securities before we receive any payments of interest or principal on such assets. See “—Income Tests—Phantom Income.” Moreover, in certain instances we may be required to accrue taxable income that we may not actually recognize as economic income. For example, if we own a residual equity position in a mortgage loan securitization, we may recognize taxable income that we will never actually receive due to losses sustained on the underlying mortgage loans. Although those losses would be deductible for tax purposes, they would likely occur in a year subsequent to the year in which we recognized the taxable income.

Although several types of non-cash income are excluded in determining the annual distribution requirement, we will incur corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax with respect to those non-cash income items if we do not distribute those items on a current basis. As a result of the foregoing, we may not have sufficient cash to distribute all of our taxable income and thereby avoid corporate income tax and the excise tax imposed on certain undistributed income. In such a situation, we may need to borrow funds or issue additional common stock or preferred stock.

We may satisfy the 90% distribution test with taxable distributions of our stock or debt securities. The IRS has issued a revenue procedure authorizing publicly offered REITs to treat certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in stock as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Under IRS Revenue Procedure 2017-45, as a publicly offered REIT, as long as at least 20% of the total dividend is available in cash and certain other requirements are satisfied, the IRS will treat the stock distribution as a dividend (to the extent applicable rules treat such distribution as being made out of our earnings and profits). We have no current intention to make a taxable dividend payable in cash and stock.

 

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Under some circumstances, we may be able to rectify a failure to meet the distribution requirement for a year by paying deficiency dividends to stockholders in a later year, which may be included in our deduction for dividends paid for the earlier year. Thus, we may be able to avoid being taxed on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends. However, we will be required to pay interest based upon the amount of any deduction taken for deficiency dividends.

Recordkeeping Requirements

We must maintain certain records in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT. In addition, to avoid a monetary penalty, we must request on an annual basis information from our stockholders designed to disclose the actual ownership of our outstanding stock. We intend to continue to comply with these requirements.

Failure to Qualify

If we fail to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than the income tests or asset requirements, then we may still retain REIT qualification if the failure is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, and we pay a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. In addition, there are relief provisions for a failure of the gross income tests and asset tests, as described in “—Income Tests” and “—Asset Tests” above.

If we fail to qualify for taxation as a REIT in any taxable year and the relief provisions do not apply, we will be subject to tax, including, for taxable years prior to 2018, any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. This would significantly reduce both our cash available for distribution to our stockholders and our earnings. If we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be required to make any distributions to stockholders and any distributions that are made will not be deductible by us. Moreover, all distributions to stockholders would be taxable as dividends to the extent of our current and accumulated earnings and profits, whether or not attributable to capital gains of ours. Subject to certain limitations of the Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction with respect to those distributions, and individual, trust and estate distributees may be eligible for reduced income tax rates on such dividends. Unless we are entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we also will be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which we ceased to qualify as a REIT. We cannot predict whether in all circumstances we would qualify for such statutory relief.

Taxation of U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock

U.S. Holder. As used in the remainder of this discussion, the term “U.S. holder” means a beneficial owner of our common stock that is for U.S. federal income tax purposes:

 

   

a citizen or resident of the U.S.;

 

   

a corporation (or an entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes) created or organized in or under the laws of the U.S., any of its States or the District of Columbia;

 

   

an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source; or

 

   

a trust if it (a) is subject to the primary supervision of a court within the U.S. and one or more U.S. persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of the trust or (b) has a valid election in effect under applicable U.S. Treasury regulations to be treated as a U.S. person.

If a partnership (including an entity or an arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes) holds our common stock, the tax treatment of a partner generally will depend upon the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. If you are a partner of a partnership holding our common stock, you should consult your advisors. A “non-U.S. holder” is a beneficial owner of our common stock that is neither a U.S. holder nor a partnership (including an entity or an arrangement treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes).

 

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Distributions Generally. As long as we qualify as a REIT, distributions made to taxable U.S. holders of our common stock out of current or accumulated earnings and profits that are not designated as capital gain dividends or retained long-term capital gain will be taken into account by them as ordinary income taxable at ordinary income tax rates and will not qualify for the reduced long-term capital gains rates that currently generally apply to distributions by non-REIT C corporations to certain non-corporate U.S. holders. In determining the extent to which a distribution constitutes a dividend for tax purposes, our earnings and profits will be allocated first to distributions with respect to our preferred stock and then to our common stock. Corporate stockholders will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction with respect to these distributions.

For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, individuals, trusts and estates may deduct up to 20% of certain pass-through income, including ordinary REIT dividends that are not “capital gain dividends” or “qualified dividend income,” subject to certain limitations (the “pass-through deduction”). For taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026, the maximum federal income tax rate for U.S. holders taxed at individual rates is 37%. For taxpayers qualifying for the full pass-through deduction, the effective maximum tax rate on ordinary REIT dividends for taxable years beginning before January 1, 2026 would be 29.6% (exclusive of the 3.8% net investment income tax). To qualify for the pass-through deduction, the stockholder receiving such dividend must hold the dividend-paying REIT shares for at least 46 days (taking into account certain special holding period rules) of the 91-day period beginning 45 days before the shares become ex-dividend, and cannot be under an obligation to make related payments with respect to a position in substantially similar or related property. There are numerous legislative proposals that may change prospectively or retroactively the effective rate of taxation for REIT dividends.

The maximum federal income tax rate for “qualified dividend income” received by taxpayers taxed at individual rates is currently 20% (exclusive of the 3.8% net investment income tax). Qualified dividend income generally includes dividends paid to U.S. holders taxed at individual rates by domestic C-corporations and certain qualified foreign corporations. Because we are not generally subject to federal income tax on the portion of our REIT taxable income distributed to our stockholders (see “—Our Taxation as a REIT” above), our dividends generally will not be eligible for the reduced 20% rate on qualified dividend income. As a result, our ordinary REIT dividends will be taxed at a higher tax rate as described above. However, the 20% tax rate for qualified dividend income will apply to our ordinary REIT dividends (i) attributable to dividends received by us from certain non-REIT corporations (e.g., dividends from any domestic taxable REIT subsidiary), (ii) to the extent attributable to income upon which we have paid corporate income tax (e.g., to the extent that we distribute less than 100% of our taxable income) and (iii) attributable to income in the prior taxable year from the sales of “built-in gain” property acquired by us from C corporations in carryover basis transactions (less the amount of corporate tax on such income). In general, to qualify for the reduced tax rate on qualified dividend income, a U.S. holder must hold our common stock for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning on the date that is 60 days before the date on which our common stock becomes ex-dividend.

Distributions in excess of both current and accumulated earnings and profits will not be taxable to a U.S. holder to the extent that the distributions do not exceed the adjusted basis of the holder’s stock. Rather, such distributions will reduce the adjusted basis of the stock. To the extent that distributions exceed the adjusted basis of a U.S. holder’s stock, the distributions will be taxable as capital gains. A U.S. holder’s initial tax basis in a share of our common stock is, in general, equal to the amount paid per share.

Distributions generally will be taxable, if at all, in the year of the distribution. However, if we declare a dividend in October, November or December of any year with a record date in one of these months and pay the dividend on or before January 31 of the following year, we will be treated as having paid the dividend, and the stockholder will be treated as having received the dividend, on December 31 of the year in which the dividend was declared.

Capital Gain Dividends. We may elect to designate distributions of our net capital gain as “capital gain dividends.” Capital gain dividends are taxed to U.S. holders of our stock as gain from the sale or exchange of a

 

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capital asset held for more than one year. This tax treatment applies regardless of the period during which the U.S. holders have held their stock. If we designate any portion of a dividend as a capital gain dividend, the amount that will be taxable to the stockholder as capital gain will be indicated to U.S. holders on IRS Form 1099-DIV. Corporate U.S. holders, however, may be required to treat up to 20% of capital gain dividends as ordinary income. Capital gain dividends are not eligible for the dividends-received deduction for corporations.

Instead of paying capital gain dividends, we may elect to require U.S. holders to include our undistributed net capital gains in their income. If we make such an election, U.S. holders (i) will include in their income as long-term capital gains their proportionate share of such undistributed capital gains and (ii) will be deemed to have paid their proportionate share of the tax paid by us on such undistributed capital gains and thereby receive a credit or refund for such amount. A U.S. holder of our common stock will increase the basis in its shares of our common stock by the difference between the amount of capital gain included in its income and the amount of tax it is deemed to have paid. Our earnings and profits will be adjusted appropriately.

We must classify portions of our designated capital gain dividend into the following categories:

 

   

a 20% gain distribution, which would be taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders of our stock at a rate of up to 20%; or

 

   

an unrecaptured section 1250 gain distribution, which would be taxable to non-corporate U.S. holders of our stock at a maximum rate of 25%.

The IRS currently requires that distributions made to different classes of stock be composed proportionately of dividends of a particular type.

Passive Activity Loss and Investment Interest Limitation. Distributions and gain from the disposition of our common stock will not be treated as passive activity income, and therefore U.S. holders will not be able to apply any “passive activity losses” against such income. Taxable distributions from us and gain from disposition of our stock generally will be treated as investment income for purposes of the investment income limitation on the deduction of the investment interest.

Other Tax Considerations. U.S. holders of our common stock may not include in their individual income tax returns any of our net operating losses or capital losses. Our operating or capital losses would be carried over by us for potential offset against future income, subject to applicable limitations.

Sales of Our Common Stock. Upon any taxable sale or other disposition of our capital stock, a U.S. holder of our common stock will recognize gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes on the disposition of our common stock in an amount equal to the difference between:

 

   

the amount of cash and the fair market value of any property received on such disposition; and

 

   

the U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in such REIT stock for tax purposes.

A holder’s adjusted tax basis generally will equal the U.S. holder’s acquisition cost, increased by the excess of net capital gains deemed distributed to the U.S. holder less tax deemed paid by it and reduced by any return of capital distribution.

In general, gain or loss to holders who are not a dealer in securities will be capital gain or loss. The applicable tax rate will depend on the holder’s holding period in the asset (generally, if an asset has been held for more than one year it will produce long-term capital gain) and the holder’s tax bracket. All or a portion of any loss that a U.S. holder realizes upon a taxable disposition of our common stock may be disallowed if the U.S. holder purchases our common stock within 30 days before or after the disposition.

“Medicare Tax”. Certain U.S. holders, including individuals and estates and trusts, are subject to an additional 3.8% tax on all or a portion of their “net investment income,” which includes net gain from a sale or

 

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exchange of our common stock and income from dividends paid on our common stock. U.S. holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the 3.8% net investment income tax.

Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common Stock

The rules governing U.S. federal income taxation of non-U.S. holders are complex. This section is only a summary of such rules. We urge non-U.S. holders to consult their tax advisors to determine the impact of federal, state and local income tax laws on ownership of our common stock, including any reporting requirements.

For most foreign investors, investment in a REIT that invests principally in mortgage loans and MBS is not the most tax-efficient way to acquire and manage, through our subsidiaries, such assets. That is because receiving distributions of income derived from such assets in the form of REIT dividends subjects most foreign investors to withholding taxes that direct investment in those asset classes, and the direct receipt of interest and principal payments, with respect to them, would not. The principal exceptions are foreign sovereigns and their agencies and instrumentalities, which may be exempt from withholding taxes on REIT dividends under the Code, and certain foreign pension funds or similar entities able to claim an exemption from withholding taxes on REIT dividends under the terms of a bilateral tax treaty between their country of residence and the U.S.

Distributions. Distributions by us to a non-U.S. holder of our common stock that are neither attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of “U.S. real property interests” nor designated by us as capital gains dividends will be treated as dividends of ordinary income to the extent that they are made out of our current or accumulated earnings and profits. These distributions ordinarily will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a gross basis at a rate of 30%, or a lower rate as permitted under an applicable income tax treaty, unless the dividends are treated as effectively connected with the conduct by the non-U.S. holder of a U.S. trade or business. Under some treaties, however, lower rates generally applicable to dividends do not apply to dividends from REITs. Further, reduced treaty rates are not available to the extent the income allocated to the non-U.S. holder is excess inclusion income. Although we do not expect to recognize any excess inclusion income, if we did recognize excess inclusion income that exceeds our undistributed REIT taxable income in a particular year, it would be allocated to our stockholders. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT—Taxable Mortgage Pools.” Dividends that are effectively connected with a trade or business will be subject to tax on a net basis, that is, after allowance for deductions, at graduated rates, in the same manner as U.S. holders are taxed with respect to these dividends, and are generally not subject to withholding. Applicable certification and disclosure requirements must be satisfied to be exempt from withholding under the effectively connected income exception. Any dividends received by a corporate non-U.S. holder that is engaged in a U.S. trade or business also may be subject to an additional branch profits tax at a 30% rate, or lower applicable treaty rate. We expect to withhold U.S. income tax at the rate of 30% on any dividend distributions, not designated as (or deemed to be) capital gain dividends, made to a non-U.S. holder unless:

 

   

a lower treaty rate applies and the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8BEN or IRS Form W-8BEN-E, as applicable, with us evidencing eligibility for that reduced rate is filed with us; or

 

   

the non-U.S. holder files an IRS Form W-8ECI with us claiming that the distribution is income effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s trade or business.

Distributions in excess of our current or accumulated earnings and profits that do not exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. holder in our common stock will reduce the non-U.S. holder’s adjusted basis in our common stock and will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax. Distributions in excess of current and accumulated earnings and profits that do exceed the adjusted basis of the non-U.S. holder in our common stock will be treated as gain from the sale of its stock, the tax treatment of which is described below. See “—Taxation of Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common stock—Sales of Our Common stock.” Because we generally cannot determine at the time we make a distribution whether or not the distribution will exceed our current and accumulated earnings and profits, we normally will withhold tax on the entire amount of any distribution at the same rate as we would withhold on a dividend.

 

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We would be required to withhold at least 15% of any distribution to a non-U.S. holder in excess of our current and accumulated earnings and profits if our common stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest with respect to such non-U.S. holder, as described below under “—Sales of Our Common stock.” This withholding would apply even if a lower treaty rate applies or the non-U.S. holder is not liable for tax on the receipt of that distribution. However, a non-U.S. holder may seek a refund of these amounts from the IRS if the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. tax liability with respect to the distribution is less than the amount withheld.

Distributions to a non-U.S. holder that are designated by us at the time of the distribution as capital gain dividends, other than those arising from the disposition of a U.S. real property interest, generally should not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation unless:

 

   

the investment in our common stock is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as U.S. holders with respect to any gain, except that a holder that is a foreign corporation also may be subject to the 30% branch profits tax, as discussed above; or

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a “tax home” in the U.S., in which case the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s capital gains.

Under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, which is referred to as “FIRPTA,” distributions to certain non-U.S. holders that are attributable to gain from sales or exchanges by us of U.S. real property interests, whether or not designated as a capital gain dividend, will cause such non-U.S. holders to be treated as recognizing gain that is income effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business. Such non-U.S. holders will be taxed on this gain at the same rates applicable to U.S. holders, subject to a special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. Also, this gain may be subject to a 30% (or lower applicable treaty rate) branch profits tax in the hands of a non-U.S. holder that is a corporation. Unless the non-U.S. holder is a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” (each as defined below), we will be required to withhold and remit to the IRS 21% of any distributions to non-U.S. holders that are designated as capital gain dividends, or, if greater, 21% of a distribution that could have been designated as a capital gain dividend, whether or not attributable to sales of U.S. real property interests. Distributions can be designated as capital gains to the extent of our net capital gain for the taxable year of the distribution. The amount withheld, which for individual non-U.S. holders may exceed the actual tax liability, is creditable against the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. federal income tax liability.

However, the 21% withholding tax will not apply to any capital gain dividend with respect to any class of our stock which is regularly traded on an established securities market located in the U.S. if the non-U.S. stockholder did not own more than 10% of such class of stock at any time during the one-year period ending on the date of such dividend. Instead, any capital gain dividend to such holder will be treated as a distribution of ordinary income subject to the rules discussed above under “—Distributions.” Also, the branch profits tax will not apply to such a distribution.

Sales of Our Common Stock. Gain recognized by a non-U.S. holder upon the sale or exchange of our common stock generally would not be subject to U.S. taxation unless:

 

   

the investment in our common stock is effectively connected with the non-U.S. holder’s U.S. trade or business, in which case the non-U.S. holder will be subject to the same treatment as domestic holders with respect to any gain;

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is a nonresident alien individual who is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year and has a tax home in the U.S., in which case the nonresident alien individual will be subject to a 30% tax on the individual’s net capital gains for the taxable year; or

 

   

the non-U.S. holder is not a “qualified shareholder” or a “qualified foreign pension fund” and our common stock constitutes a U.S. real property interest within the meaning of FIRPTA, as described below.

 

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Our common stock will not constitute a U.S. real property interest if we either are not a U.S. real property holding corporation or we are a domestically-controlled REIT. Whether we are a U.S. real property holding corporation will depend upon whether the fair market value of U.S. real property interests owned by us equals or exceeds 50% of the fair market value of these interests, any interests in real estate outside of the U.S., and our other trade and business assets. The term “U.S. real property interests” generally does not include mortgage loans or MBS. Even if we are a U.S. real property holding corporation, the disposition of our common stock will not be subject to FIRPTA if we are a domestically-controlled REIT. Generally, a REIT is domestically controlled if, at all times during a specified testing period, less than 50% of the value of its shares is held directly or indirectly by non-U.S. persons.

Because our common stock will be publicly traded, no assurance can be given that we are or will be a domestically-controlled REIT. Even if we were a U.S. real property holding corporation and were not a domestically-controlled REIT, a sale of common stock by a non-U.S. holder would nevertheless not be subject to taxation under FIRPTA as a sale of a U.S. real property interest if:

 

   

the applicable class of our stock were “regularly traded” on an established securities market within the meaning of applicable U.S. Treasury regulations; and

 

   

the non-U.S. holder did not actually, or constructively under specified attribution rules under the Code, own more than 10% of the applicable class of our stock at any time during the shorter of the five-year period preceding the disposition or the holder’s holding period.

We believe that our common stock are currently treated as being regularly traded on an established securities market. If gain on the sale or exchange of our common stock were subject to taxation under FIRPTA, the non-U.S. holder would be subject to regular U.S. income tax with respect to any gain in the same manner as a taxable U.S. holder, subject to any applicable alternative minimum tax and special alternative minimum tax in the case of nonresident alien individuals. In such case, under FIRPTA, the purchaser of common stock may be required to withhold 15% of the purchase price and remit this amount to the IRS.

Qualified Shareholders. Subject to the exception discussed below, any distribution to a “qualified shareholder” who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. While a “qualified shareholder” will not be subject to FIRPTA withholding on REIT distributions, the portion of REIT distributions attributable to certain investors in a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor), and directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the applicable class of our stock (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to FIRPTA withholding. REIT distributions received by a “qualified shareholder” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax.

In addition, a sale of our stock by a “qualified shareholder” who holds such stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA. As with distributions, the portion of amounts realized attributable to certain investors in a “qualified shareholder” (i.e., non-U.S. persons who hold interests in the “qualified shareholder” (other than interests solely as a creditor), and directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the applicable class of our stock (whether or not by reason of the investor’s ownership in the “qualified shareholder”)) may be subject to U.S. federal income taxation and FIRPTA withholding on a sale of our stock.

A “qualified shareholder” is a foreign person that (i) either is eligible for the benefits of a comprehensive income tax treaty which includes an exchange of information program and whose principal class of interests is listed and regularly traded on one or more recognized stock exchanges (as defined in such comprehensive income tax treaty), or is a foreign partnership that is created or organized under foreign law as a limited partnership in a jurisdiction that has an agreement for the exchange of information with respect to taxes with the United States

 

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and has a class of limited partnership units representing greater than 50% of the value of all the partnership units that is regularly traded on the NYSE or Nasdaq markets, (ii) is a “qualified collective investment vehicle” (defined below), and (iii) maintains records on the identity of each person who, at any time during the foreign person’s taxable year, is the direct owner of 5% or more of the class of interests or units (as applicable) described in (i), above.

A qualified collective investment vehicle is a foreign person that (i) would be eligible for a reduced rate of withholding under the comprehensive income tax treaty described above, even if such entity holds more than 10% of the stock of such REIT, (ii) is publicly traded, is treated as a partnership under the Code, is a withholding foreign partnership, and would be treated as a “United States real property holding corporation” if it were a domestic corporation, or (iii) is designated as such by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and is either (a) fiscally transparent within the meaning of section 894 of the Code, or (b) required to include dividends in its gross income, but is entitled to a deduction for distributions to its investors.

Qualified Foreign Pension Funds. Any distribution to a “qualified foreign pension fund” (or an entity all of the interests of which are held by a “qualified foreign pension fund”) who holds REIT stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA and thus will not be subject to special withholding rules under FIRPTA. REIT distributions received by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that are exempt from FIRPTA withholding may still be subject to regular U.S. withholding tax. In addition, a sale of our stock by a “qualified foreign pension fund” that holds such stock directly or indirectly (through one or more partnerships) will not be subject to U.S. federal income taxation under FIRPTA.

A qualified foreign pension fund is any trust, corporation, or other organization or arrangement (i) which is created or organized under the law of a country other than the United States, (ii) which is established by such country or an employer to provide retirement or pension benefits to participants or beneficiaries that are current or former employees (or persons designated by such employees) of one or more employers in consideration for services rendered, (iii) which does not have a single participant or beneficiary with a right to more than 5% of its assets or income, (iv) which is subject to government regulation and with respect to which annual information reporting about its beneficiaries is provided or otherwise available to the relevant tax authorities in the country in which it is established or operates, and (v) with respect to which, under the laws of the country in which it is established or operates, (a) contributions to such organization or arrangement that would otherwise be subject to tax under such laws are deductible or excluded from the gross income of such entity or taxed at a reduced rate, or (b) taxation of any investment income of such organization or arrangement is deferred or such income is taxed at a reduced rate.

FATCA Withholding. Under FATCA, a U.S. withholding tax at a 30% rate will be imposed on dividends paid on our common stock received by certain non-U.S. holders if certain disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership are not satisfied. If payment of withholding taxes is required, non-U.S. holders that are otherwise eligible for an exemption from, or reduction of, U.S. withholding taxes with respect of such dividends and proceeds will be required to seek a refund from the IRS to obtain the benefit of such exemption or reduction. We will not pay any additional amounts in respect of any amounts withheld.

Taxation of Tax-Exempt Holders of Our Capital Stock

Provided that a tax-exempt holder has not held its common stock as “debt-financed property” within the meaning of the Code, the dividend and interest income from us generally will not be unrelated business taxable income, referred to as UBTI, to a tax-exempt holder. Similarly, income from the sale of our common stock will not constitute UBTI unless the tax-exempt holder has held its common stock as debt-financed property within the meaning of the Code. Although we do not expect to recognize any excess inclusion income, to the extent that we, or a part of us, or a disregarded subsidiary of ours, is a taxable mortgage pool, a portion of the dividends paid to a tax-exempt stockholders that is allocable to excess inclusion income may be subject to tax as UBTI. See “—Our Taxation as a REIT—Taxable Mortgage Pools.”

 

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Notwithstanding the above, however, social clubs, voluntary employee benefit associations, supplemental unemployment benefit trusts and qualified group legal services plans that are exempt from taxation under special provisions of the U.S. federal income tax laws are subject to different UBTI rules, which generally will require them to characterize distributions that they receive from us as UBTI. Moreover, a portion of the dividends paid by a “pension-held REIT” are treated as UBTI as to any trust which is described in section 401(a) of the Code, is tax-exempt under section 501(a) of the Code, and holds more than 10%, by value, of the interests in the REIT. Tax-exempt pension funds that are described in section 401(a) of the Code are referred to below as “pension trusts.”

A REIT is a “pension-held REIT” if it meets the following two tests:

 

   

it would not have qualified as a REIT but for section 856(h)(3) of the Code, which provides that stock owned by pension trusts will be treated, for purposes of determining whether the REIT is closely held, as owned by the beneficiaries of the trust rather than by the trust itself; and

 

   

either (i) at least one pension trust holds more than 25% of the value of the interests in the REIT, or (ii) a group of pension trusts each individually holding more than 10% of the value of the REIT’s stock, collectively owns more than 50% of the value of the REIT’s stock.

The percentage of any REIT dividend from a “pension-held REIT” that is treated as UBTI is equal to the ratio of the UBTI earned by the REIT, treating the REIT as if it were a pension trust and therefore subject to tax on UBTI, to the total gross income of the REIT. An exception applies where the percentage is less than 5% for any year, in which case none of the dividends would be treated as UBTI. The provisions requiring pension trusts to treat a portion of REIT distributions as UBTI will not apply if the REIT is not a “pension-held REIT” (for example, if the REIT is able to satisfy the “not closely held requirement” without relying on the “look through” exception with respect to pension trusts). Our 9.8% ownership limit may make it less likely that a pension trust would hold more than 25% of the value of our common stock or that a group of pension trusts each holding more than 10% of the value of our common stock would hold more than 50% of the value of our common stock. No assurance can be given, however, that we will not be a “pension-held REIT” because of ownership waivers or otherwise.

Backup Withholding Tax and Information Reporting

U.S. Holders of Our Common stock. In general, information-reporting requirements will apply to payments of dividends and interest on and payments of the proceeds of the sale of our common stock held by U.S. holders, unless an exception applies. The payor is required to withhold tax on such payments if (i) the payee fails to furnish a taxpayer identification number, or TIN, to the payor or to establish an exemption from backup withholding, or (ii) the IRS notifies the payor that the TIN furnished by the payee is incorrect. In addition, a payor of the dividends or interest on our common stock is required to withhold tax if (i) there has been a notified payee under-reporting with respect to interest, dividends or original issue discount described in section 3406(c) of the Code, or (ii) there has been a failure of the payee to certify under the penalty of perjury that the payee is not subject to backup withholding under the Code. A U.S. holder that does not provide us with a correct TIN may also be subject to penalties imposed by the IRS. In addition, we may be required to withhold a portion of capital gain distributions to any U.S. holders who fail to certify their U.S. status to us. Some U.S. holders of our common stock, including corporations, may be exempt from backup withholding. Any amounts withheld under the backup withholding rules from a payment to a stockholder will be allowed as a credit against the stockholder’s U.S. federal income tax and may entitle the stockholder to a refund, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS. The payor will be required to furnish annually to the IRS and to holders of our common stock information relating to the amount of dividends paid on our common stock, and that information reporting may also apply to payments of proceeds from the sale of our common stock. Some holders, including corporations, financial institutions and certain tax-exempt organizations, are generally not subject to information reporting.

 

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Non-U.S. Holders of Our Common stock. Generally, information reporting will apply to payments of interest and dividends on our common stock, and backup withholding described above for a U.S. holder will apply, unless the payee certifies that it is not a U.S. person or otherwise establishes an exemption.

The payment of the proceeds from the disposition of our common stock to or through the U.S. office of a U.S. or foreign broker will be subject to information reporting and backup withholding as described above for U.S. holders unless the non-U.S. holder satisfies the requirements necessary to be an exempt non-U.S. holder or otherwise qualifies for an exemption. The proceeds of a disposition by a non-U.S. holder of our common stock to or through a foreign office of a broker generally will not be subject to information reporting or backup withholding. However, if the broker is a U.S. person, a controlled foreign corporation for U.S. tax purposes, a foreign person 50% or more of whose gross income from all sources for specified periods is from activities that are effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, a foreign partnership if partners who hold more than 50% of the interest in the partnership are U.S. persons, or a foreign partnership that is engaged in the conduct of a trade or business in the U.S., then information reporting generally will apply as though the payment was made through a U.S. office of a U.S. or foreign broker.

Applicable U.S. Treasury regulations provide presumptions regarding the status of a holder of our common stock when payments to such holder cannot be reliably associated with appropriate documentation provided to the payer. Because the application of these U.S. Treasury regulations varies depending on the stockholder’s particular circumstances, you are advised to consult your tax advisor regarding the information reporting requirements applicable to you.

Additional Withholding Requirement. Under sections 1471 through 1474 of the Code (such sections commonly referred to as “FATCA”), a 30% U.S. federal withholding tax will apply to dividends that we pay to certain foreign entities if such entities do not satisfy disclosure requirements related to U.S. accounts or ownership. Foreign entities must provide documentation evidencing compliance with or an exemption from FATCA, typically provided on IRS Form W-8BEN-E, to avoid this withholding tax. If a payment is both subject to withholding under FATCA and subject to withholding tax discussed above, the withholding under FATCA may be credited against, and therefore reduce, such other withholding tax. Non-U.S. holders and U.S. holders holding through foreign accounts or intermediaries should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of FATCA in light of their individual circumstances.

Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs

The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of REITs may be modified, possibly with retroactive effect, by legislative, judicial, or administrative action at any time. The REIT rules are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department which may result in statutory changes as well as revisions to regulations and interpretations. We cannot predict the long-term effect of any future changes in law on REITs and their stockholders. Prospective investors are urged to consult with their tax advisors regarding the effect of potential changes to the federal tax laws on an investment in our common stock.

State and Local Taxes

We and our stockholders may be subject to state or local taxation in various state or local jurisdictions, including those in which we or they transact business or reside. Our state and local tax treatment and that of our stockholders may not conform to the U.S. federal income tax treatment discussed above. Consequently, prospective stockholders should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of state and local tax laws on an investment in our common stock.

Tax Shelter Reporting

If a stockholder recognizes a loss with respect to stock of $2 million or more for an individual stockholder or $10 million or more for a corporate stockholder, the stockholder must file a disclosure statement with the IRS

 

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on Form 8886. Direct stockholders of portfolio securities are in many cases exempt from this reporting requirement, but stockholders of a REIT currently are not exempt from this requirement. The fact that a loss is reportable under these regulations does not affect the legal determination of whether the taxpayer’s treatment of the loss is proper. Stockholders should consult their tax advisors to determine the applicability of these regulations in light of their individual circumstances.

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

Except to the extent the Administrator purchases shares of our common stock in the open market, we will sell directly to you through the Administrator the common shares acquired under the Plan. The shares of our common stock may be resold in market transactions on any national securities exchange on which common shares trade or in privately negotiated transactions. Our common shares currently are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In connection with the administration of the Plan, we may be requested to approve investments made pursuant to requests for waiver by or on behalf of participants or other investors who may be engaged in the securities business.

Persons who acquire shares of our common stock through the Plan and resell them shortly after acquiring them, including coverage of short positions, under certain circumstances, may be participating in a distribution of securities that would require compliance with Regulation M under the Exchange Act and may be considered to be underwriters within the meaning of the Securities Act. We will not extend to any such person any rights or privileges other than those to which they would be entitled as a participant, nor will we enter into any agreement with any such person regarding the resale or distribution by any such person of the shares of our common stock so purchased.

In connection with transactions executed under the Plan, you may be required to pay the applicable transaction and trading fees as discussed above under “Description of the Plan.”

Our common stock may not be available under the Plan in all states or jurisdictions. We are not making an offer to sell our common stock in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

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EXPERTS

The consolidated financial statements of Chimera Investment Corporation appearing in Chimera Investment Corporation’s Annual Report (Form 10-K) for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the effectiveness of Chimera Investment Corporation’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their reports thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such financial statements are, and audited financial statements to be included in subsequently filed documents will be, incorporated herein in reliance upon the reports of Ernst & Young LLP pertaining to such financial statements and the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the respective dates (to the extent covered by consents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission) given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the securities offered hereby is being passed upon for us by Venable LLP. The opinion of counsel described under the heading “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” is being rendered by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. This opinion is subject to various assumptions and is based on current tax law.

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that site is http://www.sec.gov. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CIM”. All such reports, proxy statements and other information filed by us with the New York Stock Exchange may be inspected at the New York Stock Exchange’s offices at 20 Broad Street, New York, New York 10005. Finally, we also maintain an internet website where you can find additional information. The address of our internet website is http://www.chimerareit.com. All internet addresses provided in this prospectus or in any accompanying prospectus supplement are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be hyperlinks. In addition, the information on our internet site is not a part of, and is not incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into, this prospectus or any accompanying prospectus supplement or other offering materials. Accordingly, no information in our or any of these other internet addresses is included herein or incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

We have filed a registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part, covering the securities offered hereby. As allowed by SEC rules, this prospectus does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement and the exhibits, financial statements and schedules thereto. We refer you to the registration statement, the exhibits, financial statements and schedules thereto for further information. This prospectus is qualified in its entirety by such other information.

 

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INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The information incorporated by reference is deemed to be part of this prospectus, except for any information superseded by information in this prospectus. We have filed the documents listed below with the SEC (File No. 1-33796) under the Exchange Act, and these documents are incorporated herein by reference:

 

   

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, filed on February 18, 2021;

 

   

the information specifically incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, from our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A, filed on April 27, 2021;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2021, filed on May 6, 2021;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2021, filed on August 4, 2021;

 

   

Our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2021, filed on November 3, 2021;

 

   

Our Current Reports on Form 8-K or Form  8-K/A, as applicable, filed on February 10, 2021, February 23, 2021, April  2, 2021, June  10, 2021, June  11, 2021, June  22, 2021, August  2, 2021, September  13, 2021 and September 13, 2021;

 

   

The description of our common stock, $0.01 par value per share, included in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A, filed on November 5, 2007;

All documents we file pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus and before the termination of the offering of the securities to which this prospectus relates (other than information in such documents that is not deemed to be filed) shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus and to be part hereof from the date of filing of those documents. All documents we file pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of the initial registration statement that contains this prospectus and before the effectiveness of the registration statement shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus and to be part hereof from the date of filing those documents.

Any statement contained in this prospectus or in a document incorporated by reference shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for all purposes to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus or in any other document which is also incorporated by reference modifies or supersedes that statement.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a copy of this prospectus is delivered, a copy of any or all of the information that has been incorporated by reference into this prospectus but not delivered with this prospectus (other than the exhibits to such documents, which are not specifically incorporated by reference herein); we will provide this information at no cost to the requester upon written or oral request to Investor Relations, Chimera Investment Corporation, 630 Fifth Ave, Ste 2400, New York, New York 10111, telephone number (888) 895-6557.

 

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PART II

INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS

Item 14. Other Expenses of Issuance and Distribution.

The fees and expenses to be paid in connection with the distribution of the securities being registered hereby are estimated as follows:

 

Registration fee

   $ 0  

Legal fees and expenses (including Blue Sky fees)

   $ 25,000  

Accounting fees and expenses

   $ 6,000  

Printing

   $ 5,000  

Miscellaneous

   $ 0  

Total

   $ 36,000  

Item 15. Indemnification of Directors and Officers.

Maryland law permits a Maryland corporation to include in its charter a provision limiting the liability of its directors and officers to the corporation and its stockholders for money damages except for liability resulting from (a) actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services or (b) active and deliberate dishonesty established by a final judgment and which is material to the cause of action. Our charter contains such a provision which eliminates directors’ and officers’ liability to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law.

Our charter authorizes us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, to obligate the Company to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer of the Company and at the request of the Company, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, partner or trustee, from and against any claim or liability to which that individual may become subject or which that individual may incur by reason of his or her service in any of the foregoing capacities and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. Our Bylaws obligate us, to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law, to indemnify any present or former director or officer or any individual who, while a director or officer of the Company and at the request of the Company, serves or has served another corporation, real estate investment trust, limited liability company, partnership, joint venture, trust, employee benefit plan or other enterprise as a director, officer, trustee, member, manager or partner and who is made or threatened to be made a party to, or witness in, the proceeding by reason of his or her service in that capacity from and against any claim or liability to which that individual may become subject or which that individual may incur by reason of his or her service in any of the foregoing capacities and to pay or reimburse his or her reasonable expenses in advance of final disposition of a proceeding. The charter and Bylaws also permit the Company to indemnify and advance expenses to any individual who served a predecessor of the Company in any of the capacities described above and any employee or agent of the Company or a predecessor of the Company.

Maryland law requires a corporation (unless its charter provides otherwise, which our charter does not) to indemnify a director or officer who has been successful in the defense of any proceeding to which he or she is made or threatened to be made a party by reason of his or her service in that capacity. Maryland law permits a corporation to indemnify its present and former directors and officers, among others, against judgments, penalties, fines, settlements and reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in connection with any proceeding to which they may be made or threatened to be made a party by reason of their service in those or other capacities unless it is established that (a) the act or omission of the director or officer was material to the matter giving rise to the proceeding and (i) was committed in bad faith or (ii) was the result of active and deliberate dishonesty, (b) the director or officer actually received an improper personal benefit in money, property or services or (c) in the case of any criminal proceeding, the director or officer had reasonable cause to

 

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believe that the act or omission was unlawful. However, under Maryland law, a Maryland corporation may not indemnify for an adverse judgment in a suit by or in the right of the corporation or for a judgment of liability on the basis that personal benefit was improperly received, unless in either case a court orders indemnification and then only for expenses. In addition, Maryland law permits a corporation to advance reasonable expenses to a director or officer upon the corporation’s receipt of (a) a written affirmation by the director or officer of his or her good faith belief that he or she has met the standard of conduct necessary for indemnification by the corporation and (b) a written undertaking by him or her or on his or her behalf to repay the amount paid or reimbursed by the corporation if it is ultimately determined that the standard of conduct was not met.

We maintain policies of insurance under which our directors and officers are insured, within the limits and subject to the limitations of the policies, against expenses in connection with the defense of actions, suits or proceedings resulting from such director or officer being or having been a director or officer, and certain liabilities which might be imposed as a result of these actions, suits or proceedings.

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and persons controlling us pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, we have been advised that, in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and is therefore unenforceable.

Item 16. Exhibits.

 

Exhibit
Number
   Exhibit Description
  4.1    Specimen Common Stock Certificate of Chimera Investment Corporation (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Amendment No. 1 to Form S-11 (File No. 333-145525) filed on September 27, 2007)
  5.1    Opinion of Venable LLP (including consent of such firm)
  8.1    Tax Opinion of Hunton Andrews Kurth (including consent of such firm)
23.1    Consent of Ernst & Young LLP
23.2    Consent of Venable LLP (included in Exhibit 5.1)
23.3    Consent of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (included in Exhibit 8.1)
24.1    Powers of Attorney (included on the signature page of the Registration Statement)

Item 17. Undertakings.

(a)The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes:

(1) To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement:

(i) To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933;

(ii) To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement; and

 

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(iii) To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in this registration statement;

provided, however, that paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii) and (a)(1)(iii) do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by such registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.

(2) That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

(3) To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering.

(4) That, for purposes of determining liability under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser:

(A) Each prospectus filed by a registrant pursuant to Rule 424(b)(3) shall be deemed to be part of the registration statement as of the date the filed prospectus was deemed part of and included in the registration statement; and

(B) Each prospectus required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2), (b)(5) or (b)(7) as part of a registration statement in reliance on Rule 430B relating to an offering made pursuant to Rule 415(a)(1)(i), (vii) or (x) for the purpose of providing the information required by Section 10(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the earlier of the date such form of prospectus is first used after effectiveness or the date of the first contract of sale of securities in the offering described in the prospectus. As provided in Rule 430B, for liability purposes of the issuer and any person that is at that date an underwriter, such date shall be deemed to be a new effective date of the registration statement relating to the securities in the registration statement to which the prospectus relates, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to the purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such effective date, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such effective date.

(5) That, for the purpose of determining liability of a registrant under the Securities Act of 1933 to any purchaser in the initial distribution of the securities, the undersigned registrant undertakes that in a primary offering of securities of an undersigned registrant pursuant to this registration statement, regardless of the underwriting method used to sell the securities to the purchaser, if the securities are offered or sold to such purchaser by means of any of the following communications, the undersigned registrant will be a seller to the purchaser and will be considered to offer or sell such securities to such purchaser:

(i) Any preliminary prospectus or prospectus of the undersigned registrant relating to the offering required to be filed pursuant to Rule 424;

(ii) Any free writing prospectus relating to the offering prepared by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant or used or referred to by the undersigned registrant;

(iii) The portion of any other free writing prospectus relating to the offering containing material information about the undersigned registrant or its securities provided by or on behalf of the undersigned registrant; and

 

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(iv) Any other communication that is an offer in the offering made by the undersigned registrant to the purchaser.

(b) The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of such registrant’s annual report pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.

(c) Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933 may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the Commission such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.

 

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, the registrant certifies that it has reasonable grounds to believe that it meets all of the requirements for filing on Form S-3 and has duly caused this registration statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of New York, State of New York, on December 2, 2021.

 

CHIMERA INVESTMENT CORPORATION
By: /s/ Mohit Marria
Mohit Marria
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Each person whose signature appears below hereby authorizes Mohit Marria and Subramaniam Viswanathan, and each of them, as attorney-in-fact and agents, each with full power of substitution and resubstitution, to sign on his or her behalf, individually and in each capacity stated below, any amendment, including post-effective amendments to this registration statement, and to file the same, with all exhibits thereto, and all documents in connection therewith, with the SEC hereby ratifying and confirming all that said attorneys-in-fact and agents, or any of them or their substitute or substitutes, may lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue hereof.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, this registration statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the date indicated.

 

Signatures

  

Title

 

Date

/s/ Mohit Marria

Mohit Marria

  

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer and Director

(Principal Executive Officer)

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Subramaniam Viswanathan

Subramaniam Viswanathan

  

Chief Financial Officer

(Principal Financial Officer)

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Kelley Kortman

Kelley Kortman

  

Chief Accounting Officer

(Principal Accounting Officer)

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Mark Abrams

Mark Abrams

  

Director

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Kevin G. Chavers

Kevin G. Chavers

  

Director

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Gerard Creagh

Gerard Creagh

  

Director

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Brian Patrick Reilly

Brian Patrick Reilly

  

Director

  December 2, 2021

/s/ John P. Reilly

John P. Reilly

  

Director

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Debra W. Still

Debra W. Still

  

Director

  December 2, 2021

/s/ Choudhary Yarlagadda

Choudhary Yarlagadda

   President, Chief Operating Officer and Director   December 2, 2021

 

II-5

Exhibit 5.1

 

LOGO

December 2, 2021

Chimera Investment Corporation

520 Madison Ave, 32nd Floor

New York, New York 10022

 

  Re:

Registration Statement on Form S-3:

Dividend Reinvestment Plan                 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have served as Maryland counsel to Chimera Investment Corporation, a Maryland corporation (the “Company”), in connection with certain matters of Maryland law relating to the registration by the Company of 1,000,000 shares (the “Shares”) of common stock, $0.01 par value per share, of the Company (the “Common Stock”), covered by the above-referenced Registration Statement, and all amendments thereto (the “Registration Statement”), filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The Shares may be issued from time to time pursuant to the Company’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “Plan”), as described under the heading “Description Of The Plan” in the Registration Statement.

In connection with our representation of the Company, and as a basis for the opinion hereinafter set forth, we have examined originals, or copies certified or otherwise identified to our satisfaction, of the following documents (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Documents”):

1. The Registration Statement and the related form of prospectus included therein;

2. The charter of the Company (the “Charter”), certified by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation of Maryland (the “SDAT”);

3. The Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company, certified as of the date hereof by an officer of the Company;

4. The Plan;

5. Resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Resolutions”), relating to the authorization of the Plan and the issuance of the Shares, certified as of the date hereof by an officer of the Company;


Chimera Investment Corporation

December 2, 2021

Page 2

 

6. A certificate of the SDAT as to the good standing of the Company, dated as of a recent date;

7. A certificate executed by an officer of the Company, dated as of the date hereof; and

8. Such other documents and matters as we have deemed necessary or appropriate to express the opinion set forth below, subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications stated herein.

In expressing the opinion set forth below, we have assumed the following:

1. Each individual executing any of the Documents, whether on behalf of such individual or any other person, is legally competent to do so.

2. Each individual executing any of the Documents on behalf of a party (other than the Company) is duly authorized to do so.

3. Each of the parties (other than the Company) executing any of the Documents has duly and validly executed and delivered each of the Documents to which such party is a signatory, and the obligations of each party set forth in the Documents are legal, valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with all stated terms.

4. All Documents submitted to us as originals are authentic. The form and content of all Documents submitted to us as unexecuted drafts do not differ in any respect relevant to this opinion from the form and content of such Documents as executed and delivered. All Documents submitted to us as certified or photostatic copies conform to the original documents. All signatures on all such Documents are genuine. All public records reviewed or relied upon by us or on our behalf are true and complete. All representations, warranties, statements and information contained in the Documents are true and complete. There has been no oral or written modification of or amendment to any of the Documents, and there has been no waiver of any provision of any of the Documents, by action or omission of the parties or otherwise.

5. Upon any issuance of the Shares, the total number of shares of Common Stock issued and outstanding will not exceed the total number of shares of Common Stock that the Company is then authorized to issue under the Charter.

6. The Shares will not be issued or transferred in violation of the restrictions on transfer and ownership contained in Article VII of the Charter.


Chimera Investment Corporation

December 2, 2021

Page 3

 

Based upon the foregoing and subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications stated herein, it is our opinion that:

1. The Company is a corporation duly incorporated and validly existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State of Maryland and is in good standing with the SDAT.

2. The issuance of the Shares has been duly authorized and, when and if issued and delivered against payment therefor in accordance with the Registration Statement, the Resolutions and the Plan, the Shares will be validly issued, fully paid and nonassessable.

The foregoing opinion is limited to the laws of the State of Maryland and we do not express any opinion herein concerning United States federal law or the laws of any other jurisdiction. We express no opinion as to the applicability or effect of any federal or state securities laws, including the securities laws of the State of Maryland. To the extent that any matter as to which our opinion is expressed herein would be governed by the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Maryland, we do not express any opinion on such matter.

The opinion expressed herein is limited to the matters specifically set forth herein and no other opinion shall be inferred beyond the matters expressly stated. We assume no obligation to supplement this opinion if any applicable law changes after the date hereof or if we become aware of any fact that might change the opinion expressed herein after the date hereof.

This opinion is being furnished to you for submission to the Commission as an exhibit to the Registration Statement. We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion as an exhibit to the Registration Statement and to the use of the name of our firm therein. In giving this consent, we do not admit that we are within the category of persons whose consent is required by Section 7 of the 1933 Act.

 

Very truly yours,

/s/ Venable LLP

Exhibit 8.1

 

LOGO

  

HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH LLP

FILE NO: 87330.7                              

December 2, 2021

Chimera Investment Corporation

520 Madison Avenue Floor 32

New York, New York 10022

Chimera Investment Corporation

Qualification as

Real Estate Investment Trust

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We have acted as counsel to Chimera Investment Corporation, a Maryland corporation (the “Company”), in connection with the offer and sale, from time to time, of up to 1,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company pursuant to a prospectus dated December 2, 2021 (the “Prospectus”), as part of a registration statement on Form S-3 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on December 2, 2021 (the “Registration Statement”), in connection with the Company’s Dividend Reinvestment Plan. You have requested our opinion regarding certain U.S. federal income tax matters.

In giving this opinion letter, we have examined the following:

 

1.

the Registration Statement and the Prospectus;

 

2.

the Company’s Articles of Amendment and Restatement, as filed on November 15, 2007 with the Department of Assessments and Taxation of the State of Maryland, as amended and supplemented through the date hereof; and

 

3.

the Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of GT Hudson LLC, a Delaware limited liability company (“GT Hudson”), dated as of July 1, 2020, as amended and supplemented through the date hereof;

 

4.

such other documents as we have deemed necessary or appropriate for purposes of this opinion.

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LOS ANGELES    MIAMI    NEW YORK    NORFOLK    RICHMOND    SAN FRANCISCO    THE WOODLANDS    TOKYO    TYSONS    WASHINGTON, DC

www.HuntonAK.com


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Chimera Investment Corporation

December 2, 2021

Page 2

 

In connection with the opinions rendered below, we have assumed, with your consent, that:

1. each of the documents referred to above has been duly authorized, executed, and delivered; is authentic, if an original, or is accurate, if a copy; and has not been amended;

2. during its taxable year ending December 31, 2021, and future taxable years, the Company and GT Hudson have operated and will operate in a manner that will make the factual representations contained in a certificate, dated the date hereof and executed by a duly appointed officer of the Company and GT Hudson (the “Officer’s Certificate”), true for such years;

3. the Company and GT Hudson will not make any amendments to their organizational documents after the date of this opinion that would affect their qualification as real estate investment trusts (each, a “REIT”) for any taxable year; and

4. no action will be taken by the Company or GT Hudson after the date hereof that would have the effect of altering the facts upon which the opinions set forth below are based.

In connection with the opinions rendered below, we also have relied upon the correctness, without regard to any qualification as to knowledge or belief, of the factual representations contained in the Officer’s Certificate and the factual matters discussed in the Prospectus that relate to the Company’s status as a REIT. No facts have come to our attention that would cause us to question the accuracy and completeness of such factual representations. Furthermore, where such factual representations involve terms defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the Treasury regulations thereunder (the “Regulations”), published rulings of the Internal Revenue Service (the “Service”), or other relevant authority, we have reviewed with the individual making such representations the relevant provisions of the Code, the applicable Regulations and published administrative interpretations thereof.


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Chimera Investment Corporation

December 2, 2021

Page 3

 

Based solely on the documents and assumptions set forth above, the representations set forth in the Officer’s Certificate, and the discussions in the Prospectus under the captions “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” and “34. What are some of the tax consequences of my participation in the Plan?” (which are incorporated herein by reference), we are of the opinion that:

(a) the Company qualified to be taxed as a REIT pursuant to sections 856 through 860 of the Code for its taxable years ended December 31, 2017 through December 31, 2020, and the Company’s organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable it to continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Code for its taxable year ending December 31, 2021, and thereafter; and

(b) the descriptions of the law and the legal conclusions in the Prospectus under the captions “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” and “34. What are some of the tax consequences of my participation in the Plan?” are correct in all material respects.

We will not review on a continuing basis the Company’s or GT Hudson’s compliance with the documents or assumptions set forth above, or the representations set forth in the Officer’s Certificate. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the actual results of the Company’s or GT Hudson’s operations for any given taxable year will satisfy the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. Although we have made such inquiries and performed such investigations as we have deemed necessary to fulfill our professional responsibilities as counsel, we have not undertaken an independent investigation of all the facts referred to in this letter or the Officer’s Certificate. In particular, we note that the Company has engaged in transactions in connection with which we have not provided legal advice and may not have reviewed. Moreover, we note that we did not represent the Company as tax counsel prior to June 1, 2016.

The foregoing opinions are based on current provisions of the Code, the Regulations, published administrative interpretations thereof, and published court decisions. The Service has not issued Regulations or administrative interpretations with respect to various provisions of the Code relating to REIT qualification. No assurance can be given that the law will not change in a way that will prevent the Company or GT Hudson from qualifying as a REIT.


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Chimera Investment Corporation

December 2, 2021

Page 4

 

The foregoing opinions are limited to the U.S. federal income tax matters addressed herein, and no other opinions are rendered with respect to other U.S. federal tax matters or to any issues arising under the tax laws of any other country, or any state or locality. We undertake no obligation to update the opinions expressed herein after the date of this letter. This opinion letter speaks only as of the date hereof. Except as described in the next paragraph, this opinion letter may not be distributed, quoted in whole or in part or otherwise reproduced in any document, or filed with any governmental agency without our express written consent.

We hereby consent to the filing of this opinion as an exhibit to the Registration Statement. We also consent to the references to Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP under the captions “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” and “Legal Matters” in the Prospectus. In giving this consent, we do not admit that we are in the category of persons whose consent is required by Section 7 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder by the SEC.

 

Very truly yours,

/s/ Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Exhibit 23.1

Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

We consent to the reference to our firm under the caption “Experts” in this Registration Statement (Form S-3) and related Prospectus of Chimera Investment Corporation (the “Company”) for the registration of 1,000,000 shares of common stock and to the incorporation by reference therein of our reports dated February 18, 2021, with respect to the consolidated financial statements of the Company, and the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting of the Company, included in its Annual Report (Form 10-K) for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
New York, NY
December 2, 2021